Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
  Non-Javascript users can confirm they have successfully signed out of MyAccount by clicking here

Performing animals licence

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

Do I need a licence?

You'll need a licence 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.

Activities that need a performing animals licence include:

  • Mobile animal exhibits that visit schools, wedding or private parties.
  • Businesses that keep animals for use in TV or films.
  • Pony parties where no one will ride the ponies.
  • Businesses that train animals for exhibition.
  • Exhibiting domestic animals in a circus.

Your licence will specify the animals and types of activities you can undertake.

Who can apply?

You can apply for a licence to keep or train animals for exhibition if you're 18 years or older 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 to apply?

To apply for a licence to keep or train animals for exhibition:

  1. Download and complete the application form below and either:
  2. We'll call you to arrange your payment of the £155 application 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.
Performing animals licence application form and conditions (397kb pdf)

What conditions do I need to meet?

To receive a licence to keep or train animals, 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 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 licence to keep or train animals will last for 3 years.

Can I renew my licence?
Yes. You must apply to renew your licence if you want to continue keeping or training animals for exhibition. 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.

Fines and penalties

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

  • Exhibit, use or train animals 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