Performing Animals Licence


Do I need a Performing Animals Licence?

A person who proposes to allow animals to perform within Derby City Council’s administrative district must obtain a licence from the us, issued under The Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925.

What is covered by the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925?

The Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925 requires any person who exhibits or trains any performing (vertebrate) animal to be registered with a local authority. This provision, applies to circuses and also to other situations, such as filmmaking and plays, which involve animal performances.

Under the legislation, 'exhibit' is defined as 'exhibit at any entertainment to which the public are admitted, whether on payment of money or otherwise' and to 'train' means 'for the purpose of any such exhibition'.

The Act does not apply to the training of animals for legitimate military, police, agricultural or sporting purposes or the exhibition of those animals in demonstrations or similar events.

What are the requirements for applicants?

Applicants must not have been previously convicted under any of the following Acts:

  • The Protection of Animals Act 1911;
  • The Protection of Animals (Scotland) Act 1912,
  • The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934;
  • The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954;
  • Or any offence under any of Sections 4,5,6(1) and (2), 7 to 9 and 11 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

How do I apply for a Performing Animals Licence?

Complete the Performing Animals Application new and renewal formand submit it to the Licensing Team with the relevant fee. See our Licensing current fees and How to pay for General Licences

When deciding whether to grant a licence we will consider whether:

  • animals will have access to suitable accommodation at all times, with regard to the size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, and cleanliness;
  • animals will be suitably fed, watered and visited at suitable intervals;
  • all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread among animals of infectious diseases;
  • appropriate measures will be in place to protect the animals in the event of a fire or other emergency;
  • anyone in contact with the animals should be made aware of any risks associated with such contact;
  • suitable and sufficient risk assessments have been undertaken regarding the proposed performances to be engaged in by the animals.

An officer from the Licensing Team will visit the premises where the animals are kept, to ensure the keeper has taken, or will take the appropriate measures in respects of the issues listed above.

In addition a veterinary inspection may be requested by the officer. Any costs involved will be in addition to the licence application fee and must be paid by the organiser prior to any performance taking place.

How much is a licence and how long does it last?

See our Licensing current fees . A licence is valid indefinitely. The licence holder must notify us of any changes to the animals used for performing. There is no charge for this.

How do I renew my Performing Animals Licence?

You must complete the Performing Animal Licence Application form and submit it to the Licensing Team with the Licensing current fees and How to pay for General Licences

How long will it take to get a licence?

The Council will aim to process your application and issue a licence within 28 days. Licences will not be automatically be granted due to the animal welfare and public safety implications

What about animals in travelling circuses?

Travelling circus animal operators must apply for a licence through the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

What are the penalties if I don’t obtain a licence?

Offences and penalties under the legislation apply to any person:

  • not being registered with the local authority, exhibits or trains any performing animals; or being registered trains or exhibits any animal that is not registered or in a manner that has not been registered;
  • obstructs or delays a local authority officer or a police officer in the execution of his duties under the Act as regards entry and inspection;
  • conceals any animal with a view to avoiding such inspection or fails to produce a registration certificate when required to do so applies to be registered under this Act when prohibited from being registered.

What are my responsibilities under the Animal Welfare Act 2006?

From the 6 April 2007 the Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into effect. It makes owners and keepers responsible for the welfare needs of their animals are met.

These responsibilities include the following criteria:

  • suitable environment (place to live);
  • suitable diet;
  • to exhibit normal behaviour patterns;
  • to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable);
  • to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

What are the powers of entry of Local Authority Officers?

We may authorise competent persons to enter premises specified in an application for a licence, at all reasonable times. They will produce, if required , their authority. The authorised officers may inspect the premises and any animal or animals in them.

Who is responsible for what in Animal Welfare?

See guidance notes for Who is responsible for what in Animal Welfare.

We have an Animal Welfare Charter.

Opening times

Day Times
Monday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Tuesday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Wednesday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Thursday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Friday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Useful forms


Contact details

Post address:
Licensing Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 641951
Minicom: 01332 640666
Fax: 01332 643299
Licensing Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street