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Keeping or training animals for exhibition licence


You need a license from the council if you conduct activities that fulfil one or more of the following:

  • Businesses which keep animals for exhibition, either for entertainment or educational purposes. This includes mobile animal exhibits that visit schools, weddings, private parties, fairs and other events where an audience is present.
  • Pony parties where the ponies are not ridden.
  • Businesses which keep animals for exhibition via electronic media, for example, animals used in films or TV. 
  • Businesses which train animals for exhibition, either to an audience or via electronic media.
  • Exhibiting domestic animals in a circus.
  • Any business based outside of England that brings in an animal for exhibition. These businesses must apply to the first authority in which they will be performing or where the animals are to be kept for the duration of their stay

Activities that do not require a licence:

  • Agents who organise for the exhibition of animals, but do not own them or train them themselves and thus have limited or no contact with the animals. Agents who arrange for the supply of animals for an exhibit should ensure all keepers and trainers are licensed and comply with the Regulations.
  • Animal shows where animals are exhibited (e.g. Crufts, animal trade shows). If individual participants are in the business of exhibiting animals and receive a fee for doing so, they will need to have a licence.
  • Registered charities that exhibit animals as part of their charitable work, unless such registered charities are in practice running this element of their operations as a commercial activity.
  • Training or exhibiting animals for sporting purposes, for example, horse racing and greyhound racing.
  • Exhibiting wild animals within a licensed circus.
  • Licensed zoos.

Please note if your application is for a new or purpose-built premises, you’ll also need planning permission before your application can be considered.

You can find more information on a licence for keeping or training animals for exhibition on the Gov.uk website.

Applying for a licence

Provision for this new licensing area is underway. We anticipate an application form will be made available by December 2018. Please contact us on environmental.health@allerdale.gov.uk if you have any queries.

Before you apply, please download and read the conditions as shown below:

Download the keeping or training animals for exhibitions licence conditions

Application guidance documents can also be found at www.cfsg.org.uk