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Animal licences

Find out if you need an animal licence, how to apply, what conditions you need to meet and how to appeal a licensing decision.

Who has an animal licence in Rochdale borough?

We maintain a list of all the animal licence holders in the borough. You can view this list on the document below. We aim to update this document every 6 months.

Last updated: Friday, 21 February 2020.

Do I need a licence?

You'll need an animal licence if you're:

  • Boarding animals - if you provide boarding in kennels for dogs, home boarding for dogs, day care for dogs or any type of cat boarding.
  • Breeding dogs - if you breed 3 or more litters of puppies a year, unless you can prove you haven't sold the puppies or if you run a breeding business. You may be classed as a business even if you're an individual. Find out what makes you a business
  • Hiring out horses - if you have a business that keeps horses to hire out, including for any of the following activities: riding lessons, horse rides and trekking, loan horses, hunting, polo instruction, pony and donkey rides.
  • Selling animals as pets - if you import, distribute, advertise an animal for sale or sell animals as pets as part of a business. You may be classed as a business even if you're an individual. Find out what makes you a business
  • Using or training performing animals - if you exhibit, use or train animals for business, education or entertainment purposes. This includes animals performing to a live audience or taking pictures or videos of the animals.

Who can apply?

You can apply for an animal licence if you're at least 18 years old and live in Rochdale borough.

You're not eligible to apply if at the time of your application you:

  • Are disqualified under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals, or:
  • Meet the criteria in Regulation 11 and Schedule 8 of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 as being disqualified or had a licence revoked.

How much will my licence cost?

The cost of your licence will depend on a number of factors, including what type of licence you need, how many animals it will cover and how long it will last.

View application fees for animal licences (102kb pdf)

How can I apply?

To apply for an animals licence:

  1. Download and complete the relevant application form below and either:
  2. We'll call you to take your payment of the licence fee by credit or debit card.
  3. We'll schedule an inspection of your premises by an animal welfare officer. Please note, you'll also need to pay the cost of any veterinary fees if a vet is needed during the inspection.
  4. If the officer is satisfied your premises meet all the licence conditions, we'll issue your licence.
Boarding animals licence application form and conditions (446kb pdf)Breeding dogs licence application form and conditions (407kb pdf)Hiring out horses licence application form and conditions (401kb pdf)Selling animals as pets licence application form and conditions (424kb pdf)Using or training performing animals licence application form and conditions (397kb pdf)

What conditions do I need to meet?

To receive an animal licence, an animal welfare officer will visit your premises to check if you meet all of the licence conditions.

Once you've received a licence, you'll also have to follow the conditions of the licence.

All these conditions are listed at the end of the relevant application form which you can download in the section above.

Is my application granted if I don't hear back?

No. We must process your application before it can be granted as tacit consent doesn't apply.

How long will my licence last?

Your animal licence will last for 1, 2 or 3 years. We'll decide the length of your licence based on the outcome of your inspection and the type of activity you're undertaking.

Can I renew my licence?
Yes. You must apply to renew your licence if you want to continue your animal activities. We'll send you the renewal documents to your licensed premises 3 months before your licence is due to expire.

You'll have to complete and return the renewal documents at least 10 weeks before your licence expires. If you don't renew in time, you'll need to apply for a licence again. This may affect the length of your licence and you may have to pay additional costs.

How do I appeal a decision?

You can get in touch with us using the contact details on this page if you want to know more about why we suspended, changed or revoked your licence or why we refused your application and what actions you can take before re-applying.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

What are the fines and penalties?​

You can face an unlimited fine or up to 51 weeks in prison, or both, if you:

  • Run an animal boarding establishment without a licence
  • Breed dogs without a licence
  • Exhibit, use or train animals without a licence
  • Hire out horses without a licence
  • Run a pet shop without a licence
  • Don't follow the conditions of your licence
  • Obstruct or delay an inspection by the licensing officer

Related pages


0300 303 8871

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Public Protection Service
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU