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Performing animals licence

Changes to regulations

On Monday, 1 October 2018, new animal licensing regulations will come into force. We'll update this page with the new application form as soon as it's available.

What you need to know:

  • If you already have a performing animals licence, you don't need to do anything as it will remain valid until the date it says on your licence. You just need to apply for a new one when it runs out.
  • If you need to apply for a licence before 1 October 2018 please use the form available on this page.

​​​​​Do I need a performing animals licence?

If you exhibit, use or train performing animals, you must be registered with us.

Licenses will not be issued to anyone convicted of an offence against this Act, or against the protection of Animals Act 1911, as amended by any subsequent enactment, the court which he is convicted may in addition to or in lieu of imposing any other penalty:

  • If such a person is registered under this Act order that his name be removed from the register.
  • Order that such person shall either permanently or for such time as may be specified in the order be disqualified for being registered under this Act.​

Application evaluation process

No person should engage in the performance of animals without having carried out a risk assessment by a competent person.

Sound advice should be obtained from the following:

  • Trained animal handlers
  • Veterinarians
  • Zoos
  • University departments

It is the duty of the applicant to ensure that staff are given prior warning if they are to work with animals in case of phobias or allergies.

Information should be made available to every person concerned regarding controls such as feeding, avoiding disturbance, what to do in an emergency and the health risks particularly to expectant mother caused by animal infections.

Any person that is not required to manage the animals should be kept well clear of the performing area and the animals. It's important that the length of time animals spend performing should be kept to a minimum.

Any equipment used i.e. hay or straw should be treated and fireproofed. First aid should always be on hand.

Before a licence is granted, the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the licensing inspector that:

  • The performing animals are obtained from a reputable source to minimise the risk of disease
  • The appropriate measures will be taken to protect the animals in case of fire or other emergency including the provision of suitable fire fighting equipment
  • That the register contains the types of animal to be used in performances, both to be trained and exhibited
  • That health and safety checks are carried out for both the animals and staff

Apply for a licence

All Performing licence applications will be processed within 4 months of receipt of all the valid documentation and fees. If no further contact is received from us within the stated timescale in the application acknowledgement,​ then tacit consent applies. We'll contact you if processing period needs extending

The licence fee is £155.

Apply for a p​erforming animals ​licence (147kb pdf)​

Offences and penalties

​A police officer or officer of the local authority may make a complaint to the local ​magistrates' court if they feel that animals have been subject to cruelty.

​The maximum penalty for any offence under the act is a fine of £1,000. ​The following offences apply to any person who:

  • Not being registered exhibits or trains any performing animals or
  • Being registered trains or exhibits any animal that is not registered or in a manner that has not been registered
  • Obstructs or delays a local authority officer or a police officer in the execution of his duties under the act as regards entry and inspection
  • Conceals any animal with a view to avoiding such inspection or
  • Fails to produce a registration certificate when required to do so
  • Applies to be registered under this act when prohibited from being registered


0300 303 8871

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

Public Protection Service​​
Number One Riversid​e​
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU