If you intend to run a horse-riding school or hire horses out for rides you must be licensed.

Changes to animal welfare licensing

The government has recently published the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. Under the new laws a number of animal related activities will all be covered under a single type of licence, known as an animal activity licence, rather than under separate licences. The legislation is accompanied by new nationally set licence conditions and guidance .

The regulations come into effect on 1 October 2018 and will replace the licensing and registration under the following legislation:

  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Riding Establishments Acts 1964 & 1970
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 & Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925

If you have a licence under one of the above pieces of legislation that is in force on 1 October 2018, it will continue to be valid until it is due to expire. You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.


All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure the applicant has the following:

  • a specialist knowledge in the species they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare - i.e. mental and physical health, feeding, and knowledge of environmental enrichment.
  • Comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities.
  • An understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly. These documents should be available for the Inspector to examine.
  • Training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, and clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

Horses are subject to inspection by a veterinary officer.


Schedule of animal activity licensing fees (PDF, 170KB)  Cheques to be made payable to: LB Bromley

Guidance notes

FAQs for new animal activity licensing regulations (PDF, 335.75KB)

Guidance: Hiring out horses (PDF, 462.92KB)

Planning permission may need to be obtained before a licence is issued. Contact our planning department for further information.

Apply for a licence

Download and complete the riding establishment licence application form and return to the licensing team, with the apporopriate fee.

Payment can be made by cheque or postal order made payable to LB Bromley.