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Animal Welfare

Licence Summary

There is a licence fee payable on application. However, should we require the expertise of an animal specialist this may incur further costs at your expense before we issue the licence.

Anyone can apply unless disqualified in terms of the convictions for the offences listed in Schedule 8 of the Regulations.

The Application Process

When determining the application for a Licence Darlington Borough Council will take into consideration the Conditions listed on the application form together with various sets of Guidance Notes as published by DEFRA:

One of the  Inspectors from the Council will visit the premises to ensure that it complies with the above. In certain circumstances a vet inspection may also be undertaken and the Applicant will have to pay the relevant inspection fees.

How long will it take to Process my Application?

If we have not contacted you to make arrangements to complete an inspection within 14 days of your application, please contact us to check that your application was correctly made and received.

The Council will endeavour to issue a Licence within a period of 28 days. If we have been unable to determine your application in this time a Licence will not be granted due to animal welfare implications

Planning Requirements

Your application for a Licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity.  You should contact the Planning Authority  to discuss whether permission will be needed. 

How long does the Licence last?

The initial Licence is valid for one year. Operators will need to apply to have their Licence renewed after the first year of operation. At this point the length of their Licence determined by their risk rating which takes into consideration;

  • the risk of an operator breaching any licence conditions,
  • the impact on animal welfare of any such breaches
  • whether the operator is already meeting higher standards of animal welfare than is required by the Licence conditions.

Licence holders will receive a written reminder prior to the expiry of their Licence.


Anyone can apply unless disqualified in terms of the convictions for the offences listed in Schedule 8 of the Regulations

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 a First Tier Tribunal using the form T98 which can be found on the .gov website [external link]

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it using the contact details below.


Town Hall

[email protected]

01325 405888

In October 2018, new Regulations will come into force around a number of activities involving animals in England. Most recently Government introduced a significant change with the Animal Activity Licensing Regulations 2018 and below you will find the guidance documents (subject to change) to assist businesses in meeting the new requirements set out under those Regulations.

Existing licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a licence should also read The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 [external link] (the “Regulations”) to understand their obligations and duties under the new Regulations and the licences granted under these Regulations.

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