Isle of Wight Council

Licensing - Animals

Animal Licensing

Service update

Regulatory Services are no longer based at Jubilee Stores.  Should you need to contact the Licensing team please email your query in the first instance to

An officer will respond to your query as soon as possible.  Please note that emails will be answered in order of priority.

Please ensure that your email contains your full name, address, a telephone number and a detailed description of your query.

 Animal licensing

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 provide a single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities.

Those undertaking the following activities will need to be licensed:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (including day care)
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

The regulations set nationally apply conditions that licence holders must comply with, licence holders will be given a rating dependant on specified criteria.

View the current fees

Please Note: Zoos and Dangerous and Wild Animals will continue to be licensed under existing legislation.

Animal boarding establishments

A licence is needed to keep a boarding establishment for animals. This includes any business which provides accommodation for cats or dogs owned by other people. Both commercial premises, such as kennels and catteries, and home boarders who look after pets within their own home require licences, as do businesses providing day-time accommodation for pets (for example, dog day care and cat crèches).

Businesses which accommodate animals only as an ancillary part of the business (for example, a vet's surgery accommodating animals overnight after treatment) do not need to be licensed. There are also no requirements for licences for the boarding of other types of animals apart from dogs and cats.

Animal Boarding Application Form

Guidance Notes for Boarding Dogs in Kennels

Guidance Notes for Boarding Cats 

Guidance Notes for Home Boarding Dogs 

Guidance Notes for Doggy Day Care

List of Operators currently Licenced for Animal Boarding

List of Operators currently Licenced for Homeboarding

List of Operators currently Licenced for Doggy Day Care

Dog breeding

A licence is needed to keep a dog breeding establishment. 

This includes any business which breeds dogs for sale (whether directly or to other pet shops), with four or more litters of puppies born in a 12-month period. This may include both commercial properties or private dwellings where bitches are being kept by the breeder, relatives or business partners, in the course of the business.

We will only issue licences for permanent, fixed premises. It is illegal for animals to be kept or sold in streets, public places or from market stalls.

Dog Breeding Application Form

Guidance Notes for Dog Breeding

List of Operators currently Licenced for Dog Breeding 

Horse riding establishments

Horse riding establishments, where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding tuition.

Livery stables, which provide accommodation for other people's horses but do not hire horses for riding, do not require licences.

Horse Riding Establishment Application Form

Guidance Notes for Hiring out Horses 

List of Operators currently Licenced for Hiring out of Horses 

Pet shops

A licence is needed to keep a pet shop.

This includes any business which sells animals as pets or keeps pets with a view to their sale. Private dwellings must be licensed if animals are being kept or sold there in the course of a business.

Breeding and selling registered pedigree animals, or the occasional sale of the offspring of a family pet, does not require a licence.

We will only issue licences for permanent, fixed premises. It is illegal for pet animals to be sold in streets, public places or from market stalls.

Pet Shop Application Form

Guidance Notes for Pet Shops

List of Operators currently Licenced for Pet Shops 

Performing animals

A person who proposes to allow animals to perform within our jurisdiction must obtain a licence from the us.

Performing Animals Application Form 

Guidance Notes for Performing Animals 

List of Operators currently Licenced for Performing Animals 

Application process


All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure the applicant has the following:

  • a specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare. This would include the animals' mental and physical health, feeding and knowledge of environmental enrichment. The applicant should be able to demonstrate that they have researched and followed expert guidance in order to carry out their role.
  • Comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities.
  • An understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly. These documents should be available for the Inspector to examine.
  • Training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, and clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

The premises itself will also be assessed so we can be sure the licence holder can meet the new laws relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

Based on the information, we will assess the risk rating and award stars. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, and premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, they can make improvements to address highlighted issues, and ask for a re-inspection.

Premises with lower star ratings

A premises with a lower star rating is not necessarily a premises to avoid as there are other factors that have to be considered, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating. New businesses will be assessed as slightly higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered.

If customers have any concerns, please contact the Licensing Team prior to making a purchase or making booking arrangements.

Further updates on the law changes will be published as we receive them.

Public register

View the public register of existing licences/consents/permits/registrations .

Further information

If you require further clarification please do not hesitate to contact the Licensing department by using our online send a message to service form.