Licence - working with performing animals –
What sort of authorisation do I need?
If you want to train performing
animals in the Maidstone Borough for display to the public, you
need a Performing Animal Registration from Maidstone Borough
Council. You must abide by any conditions we apply to your
Before applying to run a performing
animal business, you will need to arrange for the appropriate
Planning Consent or Change of Use Certificate to operate your
premises for these purposes. Obtaining these can be a long process:
we will not be able to process your application without copies of
the appropriate planning permission.
You must apply to the Local Authority where your
business is actually based, i.e. where your animals are housed and
trained. If you wish to show your performing animals in the
Maidstone Borough, but are based in another area, you must be able
to show the appropriate registration from that Local Authority on
The training and display of
performing animals is regulated under the Performing
Animals (Regulations) Act 1925.
Am I eligible?
In assessing applications, we will
consider very seriously any previous offences relating to the
mistreatment of animals or negligence in the care of animals, or
any evidence of such mistreatment or negligence.
Do I need to register?
Performing animals can be animals
involved in a wide range of work and activity, including posing for
photographs with the public. If you are in any doubt as to whether
you will need a Performing Animal Registration to conduct your
animal business, please contact us on 01622 602342.
If you display your animals at a
zoo, but are hired by the zoo and not employed directly by it, it
is your responsibility to arrange your registration. If you are
part of the zoo’s staff, registration is still necessary for your
animals to work, and the zoo should make arrangements to apply.
How much do licences cost?
The Performing Animals Licence fee
for new licences is £70.
A certified Council’s veterinary
report signed by a veterinary officer may also need to be arranged,
depending on the nature of the animals you keep and your business.
We will discuss this with you as part of our inspection. Please be
aware that specialist veterinary fees (if you keep unusual or
potentially dangerous animals) can be expensive.
If deemed appropriate, we will
arrange the necessary veterinary inspection, and the veterinary
officer will invoice you for the veterinary fees in due course.
If you already have arrangements in
place with a reputable specialist veterinary practitioner who can
complete a certified Council’s report, please contact us for advice
on the required format.
What do I need to include with my application?
The application form will ask you for
detailed information about the nature of the animals’ performance
or work, and their training regime. We also need to see evidence
that you have:
- A detailed plan of your
premises including all relevant features, such as emergency access,
any public areas, animal accommodation, training and exercise
areas, water and electricity access etc., and storage areas. If you
need any advice on preparing these plans, please contact us.
- A detailed register of any
animals you intend to train and exhibit, with species, genders and
numbers of animals
- Public Liability Insurance
to the value of at least £5,000,000
- Employer’s Liability
Insurance to the value of at least £5,000,000, if you employ any
staff, including volunteers
- Your planning certificates
allowing you to use your premises exactly as you intend
We strongly recommend that you arrange appropriate
insurance to fully cover your stock, including any possible
expenditure on veterinary bills in the event of ill-health or
Apply online for a new registration
apply for a performing animal registration online. You will be
taken to an online payment facility at the end of your application
to pay the appropriate fee. All of the above documents can be
attached as scans/electronic copies, or alternatively, you can post
hard copies to:
The Licensing Team, Maidstone House,
King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6JQ.
Alternatively, please contact the
Licensing Team on 01622 602727, and they will post you paper copies
of the forms to fill in and return to us with a cheque for the
appropriate fee. Please make cheques payable to Maidstone Borough
Do I have to renew my registration?
Performing Animal Registrations do not need to
be renewed, although you must keep us up to date with any changes
to your business.
How do I apply to change my registration?
apply to change your performing animal registration online. If
you have made any changes to your stock, your insurance, your
certification or to the layout of your premises, you need to
include copies of documents demonstrating this with your
application as above.
If Environmental Enforcement or
veterinary inspections are necessary, for example for a change of
premises or stock, fees will apply as for a new application.
If you are only making minor
administrative changes to your details, please contact us in the
first instance, as there may be no charge.
You will be taken to a payment
facility at the end of your application if a fee is liable – follow
the instructions to make the fee payment.
Any substantial additions or changes to the
layout of your premises may require Planning Permission. If this is
so, we cannot proceed with your application unless a copy of the
relevant consent is included.
What happens next?
Once everything has been received,
your application will take 40 calendar days to process. During this
time, we recommend you stay in touch, as we may need further
information from you. We will contact you within 3-8 days of
receiving your application to arrange a pre-inspection visit, which
will take place within 10 days of receipt. A veterinary inspection
will then be arranged if necessary.
The veterinary inspector will
prepare a certified Council’s veterinary report, considering
whether your premises are fit for purpose and appropriately
maintained, and the condition of your animals. We will also
consider your training methods and the daily routines of your
In the interest of animal welfare and public
safety,you may not operate your business until we have fully
processed your registration. Likewise, for applications to change
your registration, you may not consider your application successful
until we confirm it. All inspections by duly authorised Council
personnel, and a veterinary inspector (where applicable), must be
carried out in full before you can proceed.
What happens if there is a problem with my
If we issue you with a notice that
your application has failed, you may be able to appeal.
What happens if I want to dispute the outcome of my
application? gives information and advice on this.
If our officers or a police officer
feel that animals have been subjected to cruelty, they may make a
complaint to the local Magistrates' Court.
If you are unhappy with the service
you have received from Maidstone Borough Council, you can view our
complaints policy or
make a complaint.
What do I do if I am concerned about an animal performance I
General information for dissatisfied
customers is also available in the What
happens if I want to dispute the outcome of my
If you have seen something at a performing animal
show or venue which gave you cause for concern over animal welfare
or public safety please contact us immediately using the details to
the right of the screen.
International Marine Animal Trainers' Association
The Association of Circus Proprietors
of Great Britain