Performing animals


If you want to exhibit, use or train performing animals in Southampton you will need to apply for a licence.

It does not apply to the training of animals for:

  • Legitimate military, police, agricultural or sporting purposes
  • Any activity as part of a licensed travelling circus
  • Any activity as per of a licensed zoo


You will need to give details of the animals and the performance they will be taking part in. If your application is approved you will be issued with a certificate confirming that you have the right to keep animals and use them in performances.

Any person licensed for keeping or training animals for exhibition will need to comply with the Animal Welfare (licensing of activities involving animals) (England) Regulations 2018.


Any training or performance must be carried out without cruelty to any animal.

If a complaint of cruelty is proven against you, you can:

  • Be banned from exhibiting or training performing animals
  • Have conditions imposed on your registration
  • Lose your registration

You can be fined up to £2,500 if you exhibit or train any performing animal without being registered. You may also be banned from exhibiting or training performing animals.

Public register

Please contact us to view this register.

How to apply

Before you apply you will need to read both of these documents to ensure you can comply with all the licence conditions.

If you have read the guidance and want to apply for a licence please complete the application form.

We will confirm that we have received both your application and fee of £95.00.

Apply for a performing animals licence


The licence fee is £184.00.

Note: This fee is non-refundable

Paying the licence fee

You can make a Debit or Credit card payment online via the council's secure online payment service. You are not required to register to use this service. Your card must be registered for 3D Secure for the payment to be successful.


Before you make a payment

You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself a couple of minutes to fill in the form.

You will need:

  • A payment card, Apple Pay or Google Pay*

Pay for a performing animals licence

How long will my application take?

We aim to determine applications within 28 days from receipt of a completed application, including payment. If we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not automatically be granted due to animal welfare implications.

Change of circumstances

You must notify the Animal Welfare Wardens if there is any change of circumstances in relation your registration. This includes the surrendering of your registration or any other material change. A fee will be charged if a change requires a new registration to be issued.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before we can grant a registration. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period.


Please read the guidance notes and regulations which provide more information.