Performing or Training animal licences

What a performing animal is, how to apply and pay for a performing animal licence, who else you need to contact, how to renew your licence, who regulates performing animals and what happens if you don't apply.

What is a performing animal?

A performing animal is an animal that is exhibited or trained in the course of business  for educational or entertainment purposes, to either an audience or pre- recording of visual images in any form of technology that enables the display of such images.

The act does not apply to the training of animals for 

  • legitimate military, police, agricultural or sporting purposes 
  • Any activity as part of a licensed travelling circus
  • Any activity as per of a licensed zoo. 


Do I need a performing animals registration?

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018 requires that all persons who exhibit or train animals for educational or entertainment purposes, must hold a licence with the Local Authority where the animals are kept. 

Are there any conditions to the registration?

Any person licensed for keeping or training animals for exhibition will need to comply with the Animal Welfare (licensing of activities involving animals) (England) Regulations 2018. 

Animal Welfare ( Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations (pdf, 278kb opens in new window) 

Guidance for keeping or training animals (pdf 642kb, opens in new window) 

Any training or performance must be carried out without cruelty to any animal.

How do I apply for a performing animals registration?

If you wish to apply for an Animal Activity licence for keeping or training animals, you can complete and submit the below application form

Application for a Keeping or Training animals licence (Word 203kb, opens in new window) 

Once completed you can submit this electronically by email with all required supporting documents to

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk 

Who else may I need to contact?

If you wish to build accommodation for your animals you may need to contact the council's planning section.

How do I change my licence?

If you wish to change your licence, you will need to email the licensing authority 

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk 

Who regulates performing animals?

If a business holds a licence it should be on display in a prominent position at the premises.

The licence is regulated by the Licensing Authority. 

If you have concerns about premises operating under a licence, or if you have a complaint or would like to report a business that you're concerned is operating without a licence you can contact the licensing authority:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

What happens if I do not apply for a performing animals registration?

If you do not hold a valid licence for training or exhibiting animals you may be prosecuted.