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Riding schools (hiring out horses)


To run a business hiring out horses you will require a licence under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

This includes businesses who hire out horses for the following:

  • trekking
  • loan horses
  • pony parties where horses are ridden
  • hunter hirelings
  • polo / polocrosse instruction
  • pony hire
  • pony and donkey rides

Please see the legislation and guidance document for further information.

The cost and length of the licence is determined on meeting the criteria under the procedural guidance.

To apply for a licence you are required to download, complete and submit the application form along with part A payment (see our current fees and charges below). You must also forward a copy of your public liability insurance. Vet fees will be charged in addition.

Existing businesses adding horses to their licence will incur a variation charge.

Making an application

To make an application, please download the application form using the button below, then:

  • email your completed application form and a copy of your public liability insurance to ehadmin@midkent.gov.uk
  • make your payment online (instructions below)
  • contact the Environmental Health team on 01622 602450 if you require assistance

Download the form

Making a payment

You can make your application fee payment online using a credit or debit card.

Before you start

You will need:

  • your reference number
  • the business name and address to be licenced

Pay now

Further information

You can find out more about our 'fees and charges' and the 'star rating scheme' by clicking on the links below.

Fees for the following licence applications:

  • boarding in kennels for dogs
  • boarding for cats
  • day care for dogs
  • home boarding for dogs
  • breeding dogs
  • selling animals as pets
Part APart B
£370 plus veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate (including travel time) if necessary 1 Star and 2 Star establishments:
£217 for a 1-year licence

3 Star and 4 Star establishments:
£339 for a 2-year licence

5 Star establishments:
£461 for a 3-year licence

Part A covers the application and authorisation process. Part B is the cost for administering and enforcing the framework. Both fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.

Example

A business that applies for a home dog boarding licence will pay £370 for the application (Part A). If they are awarded a 3-year licence (5 Star establishment) they will pay a further £461 (Part B) to cover the administration of the licence, giving a total of £831. Vet fees (if applicable) will be charged in addition to this. Whereas a business that is awarded a 1-year licence will pay £587.

Arranging provision of home dog boarding

Part APart B
Up to and including four host families:
£370 plus veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate (including travel time) if necessary

Five or more host families:
Additional £64 for each additional host family
1 Star and 2 Star establishments:
£217 for a 1-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

3 Star and 4 Star establishments:
£339 for a 2-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

5 Star establishments:
£461 for a 3-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

Part A covers the application and authorisation process. Part B is the cost for administering and enforcing the framework. Both fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.

The star rating of a franchise is determined by the star rating of each individual host family combined.


Hiring of horses

Part APart B
£370 plus veterinary fees for an initial inspection based upon an hourly rate (including travel time) 1 Star and 2 Star establishments:
£217 for a 1-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

3 Star and 4 Star establishments:
£339 for a 2-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

5 Star establishments:
£461 for a 3-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

Part A covers the application and authorisation process. Part B is the cost for administering and enforcing the framework. Both fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.


Keeping or training animals for exhibition

All licences last for three years.

Part APart B
£370 plus vet fees if applicable (based upon an hourly rate including travel time) £330 for a 3-year licence
plus vet fees if applicable (based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

Part A covers the application and authorisation process. Part B is the cost for administering and enforcing the framework. Both fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.


Dangerous wild animals (DWA)

£658 for a licence, which must be renewed every two years.

Veterinary fees will be charged in addition to this fee and are based upon an hourly rate including travel time.

Fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.


Zoos

£830 for a licence, which must be renewed after the first four years and then after six years for each subsequent licence granted.

Veterinary fees will be charged in addition to this fee and are based upon an hourly rate determined by DEFRA including travel time.

Fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.


Other charges

Licence renewals

  • charged at the same rate as new applications as above

Requests for variations

  • administration amendment £35
  • inspector visit (if required) £78 (additional to administration charge)
  • vet fees will be recharged (if applicable) based upon an hourly rate plus travel time

Request for re-inspection (for all licence types)

  • £137 plus vet fees (if applicable)

Pre-licence application advice and visit

  • £50 upfront and then additional charge dependent on officer time

Supplementary fee for additional licensable activity provided by a business at one site

  • £96 for each additional activity (this is in addition to the appropriate Part A fee and corresponding Part B fee as above)

Making a payment

Payments can be made online. Please note, fees are non-refundable.


Licences can be issued for a period of either one, two or three years depending on the risk rating and level of compliance. This also corresponds with the star rating for the establishment.

The procedural guidance describes the risk-based system that must be used when issuing licences under the Regulations (with the exception of 'Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition' where all licences are issued for three years).

Use of this system determines both the length of the licence and the star rating that will be awarded. Local authorities in England are expected to follow it in full.

Welfare standards / risk scoring matrix

Minor failings * Minimum standards ** Higher standards **
Low risk 1 Star
1-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 12-month period
3 Star
2-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 24-month period
5 Star
3-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 36-month period
Higher risk 1 Star
1-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 12-month period
2 Star
1-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 12-month period
4 Star
2-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 24-month period

* existing business that are failing to meet minimum standards
** as laid down in the schedule and guidance


The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published Procedural Guidance Notes for Local Authorities to assist in assessing the regulations, which are available to be downloaded.