Animal licences

Performing animals

A licence is required for training or exhibition of performing animals, with the exception of animals trained for military, police, agricultural or sporting purposes.

A police constable or an authorised officer may enter any premises where any performing animal might be and require the licence certificate to be produced.


New licence: £110

Renewal licence: £110

How to apply

You can apply online for a performing animal authorisation (link opens in new window).

Payments may be made by telephone (0300 300 8136) or cheque made payable to Central Bedfordshire Council, or you may pay online (link opens in new window).

We may require a veterinary inspection to be carried out before completing the registration. The costs of any inspection must be met by the applicant.

What happens next?

We will contact you within 5 working days of you submitting your application.

The application will be validated and inspections will be carried out to ensure you and the animals meet the required standards.

The validation checklist is:

  • application and payment received
  • visit by officer from Public Protection
  • approval

Tacit consent

Your licence will be issued within 20 working days of payment.

Tacit consent does not apply for this licence. You must not assume that your licence is granted if you have not heard from us.

Power of entry onto your premises

A police constable or an authorised officer may:

  • enter, at all reasonable times, any premises where any performing animal is being trained, exhibited, or kept, and inspect the premises and animals
  • require any person who is reasonably believed to be a trainer or exhibitor to produce his / her registration certificate

This power does not authorise the constable or local authority officer to go on or behind the stage during a public performance of such animals.

Power to prohibit or restrict exhibition and training

Where a Magistrates' Court is satisfied that the training or exhibition of a performing animal has been accompanied by cruelty, they may either make an order prohibiting the exhibition or training of the animals or impose conditions.

Any such order will not come into force for 7 days, and a copy of the order must be sent to the relevant local authority requiring the prohibition or conditions to be entered on the register.

Appeals and complaints

If you have been refused a licence or have a complaint about the issue of the licence, you can write to:

The Service Manager
Public Protection
Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Monks Walk
SG17 5TQ

Alternatively, you can email the Service Manager at

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