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Premises where animals are to be kept or cared for need to be licensed by the council. This is to ensure the health and welfare of animals, prevent the spread of disease, and to ensure safety to the public.

The purpose of licences and inspections are to ensure that:

  • Accommodation is suitable in terms of size, construction, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness.
  • Animals are adequately supplied with suitable food, drink, and bedding material.
  • Animals are adequately exercised.
  • All reasonable precautions are taken to prevent and control the spread among animals of infectious or contagious diseases.
  • Appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the animals in case of fire or other emergency.

Licences Available

In order to protect animal welfare, the following types of premises dealing with live animals need to be licenced.

Animal Welfare Licence (Activities Involving Animals)

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations have replaced a number of existing legislation and have provided a single licence to account for certain activities. The following activities will need to be licenced under the new regime:

  • Home boarding for cats and dogs, including day care in your home
  • Kennel boarding for dogs
  • Breeding dogs
  • Selling animals as pets
  • Hiring out of horses for riding or lessons
  • Performing animals

Find out more about the Animal Welfare Licence.

Exotic, Dangerous and Wild Animals

A Dangerous Wild Licence must be obtained, and conditions met if you wish to keep a dangerous, wild, or exotic animal.

Animals can include:

  • Wild cats
  • Primates
  • Wild dogs, such as wolves
  • Certain pigs, such as wild boars
  • Marsupials
  • Venomous animals

See more about Exotic, Dangerous Wild Licence.

Grazing Land Licence

There are a number of sites owned by the council that are available to rent for horse grazing. There is currently a waiting list, and land is only offered on a 364 day agreement.

Find our more about Horse Grazing Land Licence

Zoo Licence

A Zoo Licence is required if you have an establishment where:

  • Wild animals are kept for exhibition to the public
  • With or without a fee for admission
  • It is open for more than seven days a week in any 12 month period

See more conditions for a Zoo Licence.

Movement of Animals

In order to control the spread of disease, such as Foot and Mouth, a general licence is needed for the movement of animals. The most common animal movements include:

  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • Deer
  • Pigs
  • Cattle

The conditions of movement vary according to the type of animals, destination, and the type of trip. It also ensures animal welfare, such as being properly fed and watered, are not overcrowded, are fit to travel, and vehicles that are suitable to transport them in.

These conditions are constantly being altered and so it is vital that you make yourself aware of the latest conditions when applying for a movement licence.

See conditions and apply for a General Licence for the movement of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer.

Importation of Animals

There are number of strict regulations to follow whether you are importing animals or pets into the UK or into an overseas country. Quarantine regulations are in force in the UK and it is illegal to disobey them. Failure to comply could result in the animal in quarantine, re-exported or destroyed, and it's owner prosecuted.

Further advice on importation of animals is available from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The Licence Finder tool can help you find which licence you will need in order to carry out your business.

Further Infomation

Our Responsibilities for Animal Welfare

The council has responsibility relating to the welfare of all captive, domestic animals and wild animals. This is to ensure that all animals health and well being standards are being met for a better quality of life, and the local community is being educated to meet these standards. 

View our responsibilities

Right of Appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Courts who may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks appropriate.

Inspection of animal businesses

We carry out inspections to ensure that premises are suitable and that the licence conditions are met. Businesses will be inspected as a routine part of the licensing process, this inspection may be undertaken with a vet should the officers decide that it is necessary.

Animal Welfare Concerns

We will investigate complaints of poor animal welfare conditions in a commercial business or if you suspect someone is operating a business without a licence within the Dudley Borough. If you have a general concern about the welfare of an animal, please contact us via the Animal Welfare Advice and Complaints form.

Alternatively you can report the matter directly to the RSPCA.

  • For further information please contact us.

    Contact us about licensing

  • Opening Hours Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm.

    Please note that the offices are closed at weekends and Bank Holidays.