Animal welfare establishment

Any persons or organisations operating animal welfare establishments (such as animal sanctuaries or animal rehoming centres) where 8 animals (excluding fish) or 5 dogs or 5 equines are kept at the same time by the operator of the animal welfare establishment must be licenced.

The 8 animal threshold excludes any animal under 4 months old if it was born within the animal welfare establishment, or arrived at the animal welfare establishment with its mother.

Persons do not meet the criteria for licensing as an Animal Welfare Establishment if the animals kept are:

  • Kept as pets.
  • Kept at premises used for the care or treatment of animals by a person who is a veterinary surgeon.
  • Kept by or are in the care of a local authority.
  • Kept as part of farming or for use in the course of a business.
  • Kept temporarily by persons licensed under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.
  • Kept solely for military, police or sporting purposes.
  • Kept for exhibition for the purposes of education or entertainment.
  • Dogs kept to be trained as assistance dogs.


The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021, regulation 3 and Schedule 1, .


This guidance is issued by the Scottish Ministers to provide details of the requirements of the new Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021, in relation to animal welfare establishments in Scotland.

General conditions for animal activities licences

Specific conditions for this licence


  • New licence - £256.65
  • Variation of licence - £205.25
  • Charitable discount – 50% (applies to registered Scottish Charities and SCIOs)
  • Licensing enforcement visit No. 1 - £213.85
  • Subsequent enforcement visits: charged at hourly rate of £30.45 in half-hourly increments
  • Veterinary inspection fees are re-charged in addition to the above

How to pay

Payment can be made by cheque (made payable to Ƶapp Council) submitted with your application to:

Environmental and Animal Health
Ƶapp Council
PA31 8RT

If you would prefer to pay by telephone or BACs please email  envhealth@argyll-bute.gov.uk with your contact details and someone will contact you to arrange payment.

How to apply

You can download an application form below, and either return it by post to:

Environmental and Animal Health
Ƶapp Council
PA31 8RT

or by email to envhealth@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Animal welfare establishment application form (Microsoft Word)

Animal welfare establishment application form (PDF)

If you have any questions, please contact Environmental Health by email envhealth@argyll-bute.gov.uk or telephone 01546 605519.

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