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Keeping or training animals for exhibition

If you keep or train any animal in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes, you will require a licence.

Exhibiting means either showing the animals in person to an audience of people, or by the use of visually recorded images that enable the display of the animals, for example web cameras. 

The following activities will not require a licence:

  • Keeping or training of animals solely for military, police or sporting purposes
  • Activities permitted under a travelling circus licence issued under Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012
  • Any activity permitted under a zoo licence. 

Do I need a licence?

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018 requires that anyone who exhibits or trains animals for educational or entertainment purposes, and who meets the above definition, must hold a licence with the local authority where the animals are kept.

You can read the government guidelines for the keeping or training of animals.

How do I apply for a licence?

The fee for a 'keeping and training animals for exhibition' licence is £377.26 (+ vet fees if necessary).

You can download an application form below and, once completed, either email it to or post it to:

St Helens Borough Council
Regulatory Services
PO Box 512
St Helens
WA10 9JX

If you need any further information about this licence or the application process, please email Environmental Health.