What happens next

Upon receipt of your fully completed application, including appendix (if applicable) and the application fee, an acknowledgement letter will be emailed to you and we will be in touch to book an inspection of the premises. 

Scheduled inspection

We will be checking; that the business can meet the required licence conditions, that welfare standards can be met, and the level of compliance risk in accordance with the animal activity star rating scheme (there is no risk assessment for keeping or training animals for exhibition).  The applicants suitability will also be assessed during the application processs. In some circumstances further inspections or vet inspections will be made.  

During the inspection, the inspector may choose to take samples for laboratory testing from the animals owned by an operator. The operator must comply with any reasonable request of an inspector to facilitate the identification, examination and sampling of an animal.

Inspection report

A full inspection report is provided following satisfactory compliance.  This report details how the star rating has been determined and what improvements can be made. The higher the star rating achieved,  the longer the licence up to a maximum of 3 years. In order to reach the highest rating, you will need to meet all of the 'required'  higher standards and 50% of the 'optional' higher standards as set out in the Defra guidance documents.

Issuing the licence

The full inspection report requests you pay the 'issue' fee, to cover the cost of any further inspections (during the term of the licence) or any interactions during the term of the licence.  Only upon receipt of the issue fee will your licence and conditions be issued. Once issued, the licence must clearly and prominently be displayed on the premises and the licence number displayed on any website. 

Your star rating

The animal activities star rating scheme has a number of safeguards built in to ensure fairness to businesses:

  • The appeals process - if you believe the star rating awarded does not reflect the animal welfare standards and risk level of the business at the time of the inspection, you can appeal. 
  • Requests for re-inspections - if the star rating has been accepted and the necessary improvements made from the inspection report, you can request a re-inspection of the premises.

Inspections during the term of the licence

We will carry out at least one unannounced inspection during the term of the licence. Additional inspections may be carried out following complaints, or other information suggesting licence conditions are not being met or if the welfare of animals is considered to be at risk.


At any time we may vary the licence following either:

  • application in writing from the licence holder (by email to [email protected] or post to Environmental health, Cheltenham Borough Council, Municipal Offices, Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 9SA) or, 
  • our own decision (where consent, in writing, of the licence holder has been obtained)


We will email you 3 months before your licence expires. You must apply for a renewal of your licence 10 weeks before the expiry date if you wish to continue your activity without a break.  An inspection of the premises is carried out before renewing the licence.