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Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition

All persons who keep or train animals for exhibition must hold a licence with their Local Authority.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 state that to run a business of keeping and/or training animals for exhibition an Animal Welfare Licence will be required.  These Regulations replaced the Performing Animals Act 1925 - under which animals kept for exhibition (performing animals) had to be registered.

This webpage and guidance should be read in conjunction with our Animal Welfare Licensing Overview webpage.

The types of business that require a licence are:

·       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 television.

·       Businesses which train animals for exhibition either to a live audience or via electronic media.

·       Exhibiting domestic animals in a circus.

·       Any business based outside of England that brings in an animal or animals for exhibition.  These businesses must apply to the first authority in which the animals will be performing or where the animals are kept for the duration of their stay in England.

Eligibility Criteria

Please refer to our Animal Welfare Overview webpage for information.

Application Process

Applicants must complete a licence application form.  The application form must be accompanied with the required documentation specified on the form and the licence application fee - currently £120.00.  Details of how to pay the fee can be found on the application form. The licence applicant must satisfy the nationally set licence conditions; guidance on these conditions is set out in the DEFRA guidance notes.

The licence application form for keeping or training animals for exhibition can be found at the bottom on this page. A link to the DEFRA guidance notes can be found on our overview webpage:

Application Evaluation Process

Once the application is received by the Council it will be forwarded to an appropriate officer to inspect the premises.  The premises, facilities, management and records will be inspected to ensure they comply with the current licence conditions.

Applications are then either approved with licence conditions or refused.

The following criteria (and other relevant matters) will be considered when the application is being evaluated:

  • That the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times. Suitable accommodation takes into account the construction and size of the accommodation, the number of animals to be housed in it, facilities for exercising the animals, cleanliness and temperature, lighting and ventilation provisions.
  • That suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly.
  • That steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place.
  • That adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies.
  • That records are kept for each animal.  Records must include (amongst other things) full details of the animal, medical and behavioural history, details of the supplier, details of where exhibited.  These records should be available to be inspected at any time by a local authority officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner.

Full details of the conditions that must be satisfied can be found in the DEFRA guidance documents at the bottom of this page.

Tacit Consent

We normally aim to have applications determined within 10 weeks of receipt of a valid and complete application.  However, if we have been unable to determine an application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted due to animal welfare implications and therefore tacit consent does not apply.  This means that applicants must wait for the Council to determine their application before any licensable activities can take place.

Failed Application Redress

Applicants that have their licence application refused may appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.  The appeal must be made in writing or email and within 28 days of the date of notification of refusal to grant a licence.

Consumer Complaint

If you have any concerns regarding a licensed premise in the East Lindsey District, please contact the Licensing Team using the contact details below:

The Licensing Team, East Lindsey District Council, Tedder Hall, Manby Park, Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 8UP


Register of Licensees

This Register is not currently available online but should you wish to see a copy please contact the Licensing Team using the contact details set out below:

The Licensing Team, East Lindsey District Council, Tedder Hall, Manby Park, Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 8UP


Regulations Summary

·       Animal Welfare Act 2006  

·       The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018  

·       The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019  

Trade Associations