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Animal Licensing

Licensing information for anyone caring for animals in a personal or business capacity.

Where an individual wishes to keep certain types of animals or operate a business whereby live animals are kept or used, a licence must first be granted by West Lothian council. Please follow the links for guidelines and applications procedures for the appropriate licence along with the  current licensing fees [107KB] .

Licences issued under The Animal Welfare (licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 are required to be kept in a Public register [121KB] .

Other animal licences issued are listed in a Register - All Other Animal Licences [145KB]


Anyone who operates a premises providing accommodation for animals needs to apply for a licence. No person may keep a boarding establishment without first obtaining a licence from their local authority.
Anyone who wishes to keep an animal which is classified as a 'dangerous wild animal' must apply for the relevant licence. To see which animals this applies to, check the Dangerous Wild Animal Schedule.
You may require a licence if you are engaged in breeding dogs, cats, or rabbits
The Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925 requires that all persons who work with, train, supply, present, exhibit or show animals which are used in any genre of entertainment must register with their local authorities.
Anyone planning on boarding dogs at a domestic premises needs to apply for a Licence under the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963. No person may board dog's without first obtaining a licence from the local authority.
Commercial Dog Walkers are now encouraged to become a member of our Trusted Trader Scheme
The selling of animals as pets, whether by an individual or an organisation will require a licence.
A riding establishment licence is required where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction in Scotland. "Horse" includes any mare, gelding, pony, foal, colt, filly, or stallion, and also any ass, mule or jennet. A licence may be granted to an individual over the age of eighteen years or a corporate body.
Applicants considering opening a Dog Day Care establishment are encouraged to contact the environmental health team for more information.
If a person or organisation supplies animals as pets the activity may require a rehoming licence
All businesses are responsible for managing their own waste and for its safe and correct disposal. Business waste is not collected by the council and businesses must put in place contracts with licenced waste management contractors. This article describes what should be in place at licensed animal welfare premises and provides links to national guidance.
Establishments such as animal sanctuaries or animal rehoming centres may require to be licenced