Keeping or training animals for exhibition

To run a business keeping or training animals for exhibition for educational or entertainment purposes you need a licence from the local authority. This includes:

  • mobile animal exhibits that visit schools, weddings, private parties, fairs and other events where an audience is present
  • pony parties where the ponies are not ridden (NB if ponies are to be ridden a licence for the hiring out of horses licence is required)
  • businesses keeping animals for exhibition via electronic media for example animals used in TV or films
  • exhibiting domestic animals in a circus
  • a business based outside of England bringing in an animal for exhibition

There are a number of factors to take into account in determining whether the business element of training or exhibiting animals is met. Refer to keeping or training animals for exhibition licensing - statutory guidance for local authorities for keeping or training of animals for exhibition  to see whether you require a licence.

Unlike other licensable activities, the licence for keeping or training of animals for exhibition lasts for 3 years from the date it is granted.

How to apply

You can download the applicant profile, application form and the declaration form to apply for keeping or training animals for exhibition.

Return completed forms:

By post to:
Animal Health and Welfare Team
Cheshire East Council
Delamere House
Delamere Street

Payments may be made by calling 01270 686601, 01270 686720 or 01270 686597

Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm


A fee is payable upon application. View details of fees for keeping and or training of animals for exhibition 

Right of appeal

If we refuse to give you a licence, you can appeal to an independent tribunal.

If you disagree with the star/risk rating we have given, you can challenge your rating.

Other useful organisations

Society for All Artists (SAA)

Contact us

0300 123 5015

Page last reviewed: 09 May 2024