Animal licensing


You need a licence to carry out some activities involving animals. You also need a licence to own dangerous wild animals.

When you need a licence

You must have a valid licence to carry out any of the following activities involving animals:

You also need a licence for a:

From 6 April 2026, you will need a licence to keep primates.

You do not need a licence to be a professional dog walker, but you can find guidance on best practice and how to meet legal requirements at Dogs Trust: How to find a good dog walker.


You can read government guidance on how to apply for these licences and the conditions you'll need to meet, at:

You can read the guidance for licensing authorities at GOV.UK: Animal activities licensing – statutory guidance for local authorities.

Guidance includes:

  • the conditions for each licence type that are set at a national level
  • what you need to do to meet the conditions
  • steps you can take to meet the higher animal welfare standards and get a higher rating