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Inspection Details - Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition

Part A - General Conditions

1.0Licence Display

The licence must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises such as the entrance or reception area.

A copy of the licence must also be taken to exhibits when these are held at other locations.

1.1A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises used for the licensable activity.
1.21.2 The name of the licence holder followed by the number of the licence holder's licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any website used in respect of the licensable activity.
2.0RecordsElectronic records must be backed up
2.1The licence holder must ensure that at any time all the records that the licence holder is required to keep as a condition of the licence are available for inspection by an inspector in a visible and legible form or, where any such records are stored in electronic form, in a form from which they can readily be produced in a visible and legible form.
2.2The licence holder must keep all such records for at least three years beginning with the date on which the record was created.
3.0Use, number and type of animal
3.1No animals or types of animal other than those animals and types of animal specified in the licence may be used in relation to the relevant licensable activity.

The licence must clearly state the maximum numbers of each species or species group that may be used for the activity, except for fish.

The licence holder may have under the maximum number of animals without informing the local authority but must inform them if this maximum number is to be exceeded.

3.2The number of animals kept for the activity at any time must not exceed the maximum that is reasonable taking into account the facilities and staffing on any premises used for the licensable activity.

Any animals kept as pets that are not included in the licence must not be exhibited.

The licence holder must be able to demonstrate that there are sufficient resources for each individual animal in any shared enclosure used for accommodation and that all animals within a shared enclosure are able to undertake similar activities at the same time, such as allowing all birds to perch or feed at the same time, and allowing animals to separate off from a social group.


Sufficient numbers of people competent for the purpose must be available to provide a level of care that ensures that the welfare needs of all the animals are met.

Written instructions must be provided for staff on the provision of health care and the procedures to be followed in the event of an incident involving any venomous animal and a member of the public or staff member.

No animal must be kept for exhibition or exhibited unless staff on duty are competent in the care and welfare of the animals exhibited and have a recognised qualification and/or suitable and demonstrable experience/training, including working within the exhibition environment in question (for example a film set, mobile animal exhibit, or theatre).

Licence holders keeping venomous species hazardous to human health must ensure that sufficient staff are trained in the specific venomous species management and available at all times.

4.2The licence holder or a designated manager and any staff employed to care for the animals must have competence to identify the normal behaviour of the species for which they are caring and to recognise signs of, and take appropriate measures to mitigate or prevent, pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour.

Suitable and sufficient training of staff involved in animal care must be demonstrated to have been carried out in the following areas:

  • animal welfare, including recognising poor welfare;
  • animal handling;
  • animal behaviour;
  • cleanliness and hygiene;
  • feeding and food preparation;
  • Disease and zoonosis control;
  • Recognition and first aid treatment of sick animals and abnormalities.
  • New information on disease and inherited disease, legislation and behaviour


The licence holder must provide and ensure the implementation of a written training policy for all staff.

It will be applicable to any members of staff and can be shown by engagement with courses, written or online learning, keeping up to date with any research or developments for specific species and the documentation of the annual appraisal.

Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided

The training policy must be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and must include:

  • annual appraisal
  • planned continued professional development
  • recognition of knowledge gaps
  • Use of online courses and literature
  • If no staff are employed the licence holder must demonstrate their own knowledge development.

It will be applicable to any members of staff and can be shown by engagement with courses, written or online learning, keeping up to date with any research or developments for specific species and the documentation of the annual appraisal. Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided.

5.0Suitable Environment

5.1 All areas, equipment and appliances to which the animals have access must present minimal risks of injury, illness and escape. They must be constructed in materials that are robust, safe and durable, in a good state of repair and well maintained.

Care must be taken where aviaries or cages are constructed of newly galvanised mesh to prevent heavy metal poisoning, particularly in parrots which will often chew the metal.

Drainage must be effective to ensure there is no standing or pooling of liquids. Waste water must not run off into adjacent pens/ units. Drainage channels must be provided.

Where appropriate, animal pens and cages must open onto secure corridors or other secure areas so that animals are not able to escape from the premises. These corridors/areas must not be used as an exercise area.

Accommodation must be regularly inspected for damage and potential injury or escape points. Damaged accommodation must be repaired or replaced immediately.

Timber must be of good quality, well-kept and any damaged areas sealed or over clad. Wood must be smooth and treated and properly maintained.

Where appropriate, interior surfaces, including floors, must be smooth, impervious and able to be disinfected. Floors must have a non-slip, solid surface. Junctions between sections must be coved or sealed.

There must not be any sharp edges, projections, rough edges or other hazards which present risk of injury to an animal. No unprotected electrical cables must be within reach of any animal.

Materials must be non-toxic. Windows must be escape-proof. Doors must be strong enough to resist impact, scratching and chewing, and must be capable of being effectively secured. Large apertures must be avoided.

Door openings must be constructed such that the passage of water/waste is not impeded, or allowed to gather due to inaccessibility. All wire mesh/fencing must be kept in good repair to provide an escape and dig proof structure. Where metal bars and/or mesh and/or frames are used, they must be of suitable gauge with spacing adequate to prevent animals escaping or becoming entrapped.


Animals must be kept at all times in an environment suitable to their species and condition (including health status and age) with respect to 

(a) their behavioural needs,

(b) its situation, space, air quality, cleanliness and temperature

(c) the water quality (where relevant),

(d) noise levels

(e) light levels

(f) ventilation.

All housing must allow an animal to:

  • lie fully stretched out;
  • stand in their natural posture;
  • enable animals to be able to move around freely climb, swim and jump where appropriate, and be comfortable in their environment;
  • rest comfortably;
  • hide from human view or other animals in the enclosure, where appropriate;
  • be kept in appropriate social groups;
  • where appropriate, have separate areas for sleeping, toileting, exercising and the ability to move away from the social group; 
  • hide from potentially frightening stimuli.

The enclosure size must be appropriate to the species, adjusted according to its size as the animal grows and where animals are kept communally any change in group dynamics may require separation or larger enclosures.

While being temporarily exhibited, enclosure sizes that are smaller than that considered best practice for long term husbandry can be used.

Animals held or displayed outdoors must always have suitable protection from adverse weather conditions.

Fish must be able to move freely and turn around in aquariums or ponds.

Birds must be able to stretch their wings freely.

Animals must be provided with suitable housing and rest areas which will depend on the species or species group.

All housing must be:

  • secure (predator proof, escape proof and lockable);
  • clean and free from parasites (and vermin);
  • free from hazards (e.g. sharp projections and edges);
  • ventilated (or oxygenated for aquatic species). Ventilation must be provided to all interior areas, as appropriate to the species and have no detrimental effect on temperature or humidity;
  • sheltered from extremes of weather;
  • at a temperature suitable to the species of animal.

Direct sunlight where no shade is available and other unintended heat sources must be avoided. Light must be provided in a suitable light: dark cycle for the species and where natural light is insufficient, suitable artificial lighting must be used. Where specific waveforms of light (e.g. UVB) forms an integral part of life support for the species, or where inappropriate lighting is detrimental to the health of the animal, there must be a system in place to demonstrate to the inspector that appropriate lighting is provided. Animals must be able to move away from direct lighting.

Where tiered accommodation systems are utilised, water, food or waste products must not be allowed to contaminate lower levels. In certain systems, such as aquaria or mixed-species aviaries, where isolation is inappropriate, waste must be adequately managed to prevent contamination of food and water.

Where water quality forms an integral part of life support for the species, or where poor water quality is detrimental to the health of the animal, water quality must be checked weekly and records kept of all tests.

Noise disturbance must be minimised and demonstrable mitigating steps taken where problems arise. Where appropriate, animals must not be exposed to draughts.

All housing must have:

  • a comfortable resting area that all animals housed together can use at the same time;
  • a suitable amount of clean bedding material of a type suitable for the species and individual animals.

Staff must ensure that the animals are kept clean and comfortable.

Empty cages must be fully cleaned, disinfected and allowed to dry before new stock arrives. Substrate must be replaced as appropriate, and enclosure fixtures and fittings must be adequately sanitised.

Working fish systems must not be treated with routine chemical sterilization. Fish must not be subject to rapid fluctuation in chemical composition of their water, other than for the controlled treatment of disease or as part of a controlled breeding programme. Acceptable conditions may vary substantially according to species and often counter intuitively. In case of doubt expert advice should be sought.

Each occupied unit must be cleaned regularly and waste materials removed as required.

For species which are in poor health or should not be disturbed during breeding seasons, cleaning should be minimalized, provided that appropriately hygienic living conditions are maintained.

Where appropriate, all animals kept must benefit from adequate routine grooming and other health regimes as required e.g. cleaning of eyes or keeping long fur from matting. This would include regular attention to coat, teeth, ears and nails and inspection for parasites.

Any cleaning products used must be non-toxic to enclosure inhabitants and appropriate timed separation between disinfection and (re)introduction of livestock observed.

Soiled bedding must be removed in a timely fashion and immediately replaced.

5.4Where appropriate for the species, a toileting area and opportunities for toileting must be provided.


5.5Procedures must be in place to ensure accommodation and any equipment within it is cleaned as often as necessary and good hygiene standards are maintained. The accommodation must be capable of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

To maintain a clean environment, a cleaning procedure must be provided and must detail the routine cleaning regime and the procedure for cleaning between periods of occupation as well as the management procedures with regard to any human disease risks.


The animals must be transported and handled in a manner (including for example in relation to housing, temperature, ventilation and frequency) that protects them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Leaving animals in vehicles must be minimalised. Animals must never be left unattended in a car or other vehicle when the temperature may pose a risk to the animal.

Every animal needs to be checked for signs of injury, illness, distress or fear immediately before and after transportation and must receive prompt treatment and/or rest as required. An animal must not be transported if they are showing any signs of injury, illness, distress or fear, unless they are being taken to the veterinarian for treatment. In the latter situation, there must be barriers between carriers to reduce the transmission of disease and the vehicle and equipment must be appropriately disinfected following transportation.

Any animals received or consigned must be transported according to the regulations laid down in current legislation.

The licence holder must demonstrate that a suitable vehicle is available to transport the animals.

Predators and prey must not be kept within sight, sound or smell during transport.

Fully trained and hooded raptors can be safely transported on a cadge provided they are under supervision otherwise raptors should be transported in specifically constructed travelling boxes which allow them at least to stand up fully and turn around.

Birds must, where appropriate, have the opportunity to perch during transport.

All animals must be provided with the temperature appropriate to their species whilst in transit. Hot and cold weather procedures must be in place

5.7All the animals must be easily accessible to staff and for inspection. There must be sufficient light for the staff to work effectively and observe the animals.

Enclosures must allow for visual inspection with minimal disturbance to the animal.

Lights must be turned off to provide a period of darkness overnight unless the species requirements specify otherwise. Consideration must be given to the specific requirements of nocturnal species


All resources must be provided in a way (for example as regards. frequency, location and access points) that minimises competitive behaviour or the dominance of individual animals.

Staff must be trained to recognise signs of group disruption (e.g. competition and aggression), which could compromise animal welfare.

Resources include, but are not limited to: food, water, enrichment items and resting/sleeping areas.

There must be sufficient resources for each individual animal in any shared enclosure to minimise dominance, and where this is identified, additional resources must be provided.


The animals must not be left unattended in any situation or for any period likely to cause them distress.

All handling/interaction by the public with animals must be constantly supervised.

All animals must be attended as appropriate to the individual animal. Staff must visit the animals at regular intervals of between 4 and 6 hours during the day or as necessary for the individual health, safety and welfare of each animal according to its species.

A documented system of recording observation for illness, injury or behavioural problems must be maintained.

6.0Suitable Diet 

6.1 The animals must be provided with a suitable diet in terms of quality, quantity and frequency. Any new feeds must be introduced gradually to allow the animals to adjust to them.

Live food intended for use must be housed in suitable escape proof containers. Live food, if uneaten in a short period, must be removed where it may pose a risk to the species housed e.g. crickets biting reptiles.

The feeding of live vertebrate prey should be carried out only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. nonfeeding snake). This must be on an individual animal basis for specified animals only. A written justification must have been completed, be made available to inspectors, and be agreed by senior staff, including veterinary advice, weighing up the welfare of predator and prey. Live feeding must be observed by a competent staff member and uneaten prey removed in a timely manner. Such feeding must not take place in the presence of the public.

Animals must be fed an adequate and balanced diet in accordance to the individual animal's nutritional needs. Animals must be fed a complete diet appropriate to their age, breed, species, activity level and stage in the breeding cycle. Staff must have knowledge of the requirements for all the species held.

If there are concerns about an individual animal's diet, appropriate nutritional/veterinary advice must be sought.

Food supplements, including vitamins and minerals, must be provided if necessary at the correct dosage for the individual species and in a form appropriate to ensure adequate supplementation is delivered to the target species.

Fresh foods must be kept refrigerated where appropriate. Frozen foods intended for use must be stored in an appropriate deep freeze and defrosted thoroughly to room temperature before use.


Feed and (where appropriate) water intake must be monitored, and any problems recorded and addressed.

For small mammals, guinea pigs, rabbits and birds, if there is no improvement in food intake within 12 hours following remedial action by a competent person or the condition of the individual deteriorates a veterinarian must be consulted.

Abnormalities in eating and/or drinking habits must be recorded, reported to the appropriate member of staff and acted upon. Appropriate veterinary advice must be sought if necessary.

Significant weight loss or gain must be assessed by a competent person. Where the underlying reason cannot be identified and/or remedial measures have been unsuccessful, the animal must be assessed by a veterinarian. If it is housed as part of a social group, the establishment must have the ability to isolate an individual to ascertain whether it is eating or not.


Feed and drinking water provided to the animals must be unspoilt and free from contamination.


6.4Feed and drinking receptacles must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected, or disposable.

Receptacles must be maintained to a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene. They must be disposed of if damaged.


Constant access to fresh, clean drinking water must be provided in a suitable receptacle for the species that requires it.

Access to water for bathing or swimming must not be withheld for longer than is normal for the species. Raptors should be provided daily with fresh clean water in a bath but it should be withdrawn during freezing weather, where they are kept outdoors, to avoid health problems.

Water bottles must be free flowing and free from leakages and blockages.

Water must be kept away from sleeping areas to reduce risk of damp.

Fish must not be removed from water during exhibits.


Where feed is prepared on the premises, there must be hygienic facilities for its preparation, including a working surface, hot and cold running water and storage.

Human and animal food preparation must not take place in shared preparation areas at the same time or using shared utensils.

Staff must not use receptacles for food and drink for any other purposes.

Soap and hygienic hand drying facilities must be available. Alcoholic gel is not considered a suitable alternative to soap and running water.

Food must be protected against dampness, deterioration, mould or from contamination by insects, birds, vermin or other pests.

The food preparation area must be kept clean and vermin free.

7.0Monitoring of behaviour and training of animals

Active and effective environmental enrichment must be provided to the animals in inside and any outside environments.

As appropriate to the species, enrichment devices must be changed on a regular basis to introduce novelty and maintain interest. When adding new enrichment devices, staff must ensure that the animal is closely monitored for signs of distress.

Animals must be able to express natural behaviours in their living environment. This may require the provision of environmental enrichment such as objects and substrates (e.g. bedding) or designing the housing to provide certain physical (e.g. perches) or environmental (e.g. humidity level) requirements. These should not have the potential to cause injury and should be replaced if damaged.

Accessories must be disposable or be disinfected between animals.


For species whose welfare depends partly on exercise, opportunities to exercise which benefit the animals' physical and mental health must be provided, unless advice from a veterinarian suggests otherwise.

For birds it is advised that the aviary dimensions provide sufficient space for flight and at the very least be wide enough for the bird to fully open its wings.

Exact measurements can be found the Guidance on the Sale of Pets. Birds must not be tethered permanently

All animals must have daily exercise, as appropriate for species, age, ability, stage of training and physical capability.

If animals are unable to move fully (i.e. use their natural full range of movements, such as running and flying) in any temporary enclosure (e.g. whilst being exhibited), they must be given the chance to do so at least once each day and a record kept.


The animals' behaviour and any changes of behaviour must be monitored. Advice must be sought, as appropriate and without delay, from a veterinarian or, in the case of fish, any person competent to give such advice if adverse or abnormal behaviour is detected.

Where an animal is showing signs of being nervous, stressed or fearful, steps must be taken immediately to address this, including withdrawal during an exhibition.

The behaviour of individual animals must be monitored daily and changes in behaviour and/or behaviours indicative of stress, fear, pain and anxiety must be recorded and acted upon.

Staff with the responsibility for care of the animals must be able to identify animals that are anxious or fearful about contact and/or handling. Animals must only be exhibited if they are suitable for the type of exhibition involved (including any handling, noise, lighting, special effects, other animals), i.e. they are able to have their needs met and are not likely to be nervous, stressed or fearful.

7.4Where used, training methods or equipment must not cause pain, suffering or injury.Training must be based on the principles of positive reinforcement (i.e. reward desired behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour). Animals must not be physically forced to perform or punished if they do not perform.

All immature animals must be given suitable and adequate opportunities to:

  • learn how to interact with people, their own species and other animals where such interaction benefits their welfare, and;
  • become habituated to noises, objects and activities in their environment.

There must be a plan in place for any animals to be familiarised early on with any stimulus or combination of stimuli they are likely to experience such as individual handling, audiences and crowds, loud noises and activities going on around them.

8.0Animal Handling and Interactions
8.18.1 All people responsible for the care of the animals must be competent in the appropriate handling of each animal to protect it from pain, suffering, injury or disease.

Where a client is handling an animal it is the responsibility of a competent member of staff to ensure the interaction is appropriate and is stopped if the animal shows sign of fear, suffering or fatigue. Clients handling animals must be supervised at all times and offered facilities to wash their hands before and afterwards. Animals which are showing signs of aggression should only be handled by competent staff.


The animals must be kept separately or in suitable compatible social groups appropriate to the species and individual animals. No animals from a social species may be isolated or separated from others of their species for any longer than is necessary.

A policy must be in place for monitoring the introduction of new animals to existing groups to avoid stress to either new or resident animals and outlining steps that must be taken should a problem arise.

Where appropriate, all animals must be housed in social groups of suitable size.

Normally solitary species must not be kept in social groups. Ideally they should not be kept within sight of each other, but where this is not possible, a sufficient distance and visual barrier must be maintained to prevent stress.

Animals working together must be familiarised prior to attendance at events. Use of predator and prey species at the same time must be avoided.

Where appropriate, to help avoid unwanted litters, all animals must be sexed immediately on arrival at the premises and neutered or, if appropriate, housed in single sex groups.

8.3The animals must have at least daily opportunities to interact with people where such interaction benefits their welfare.Animals must never be forced to interact with people, and must have a facility to avoid people, i.e. have access to a hiding place.
9.0Protection from Pain, Suffering, Injury and Disease 

Written procedures must:

  • (a) be in place and implemented covering:
    • i. feeding regimes,
    • ii. cleaning regimes,
    • iii. transportation
    • iv. the prevention of, and control of the spread of, disease,
    • v. monitoring and ensuring the health and welfare of all the animals,
    • vi. the death or escape of an animal (including the storage of dead animals);
  • (b) be in place covering the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency.

Written procedures should be proportional to the size, and reflect the complexity, of the business. The written procedures must be made available to the inspectors and all people responsible for the care of the animals must be made fully aware of these procedures.

The procedures must demonstrate how the conditions outlined in this guidance are met.

9.2All people responsible for the care of the animals must be made fully aware of these procedures. 

Appropriate isolation, in separate self-contained facilities, must be available for the care of sick, injured or potentially infectious animals.

Any animals in the isolation facility must be checked regularly and unless a separate person is caring for them, they should be visited after the other animals. Fish showing signs of illness or disease may be kept with other animals provided that all the fish in the same tank (or connected system) are given appropriate treatment.

Where infectious disease is present in a premises, barrier nursing procedures must be implemented. This includes use of protective clothing and footwear (where applicable) changed between enclosures; separate storage of equipment, including cleaning utensils, and segregation of waste.

Provision must be made for the isolation of sick/injured/infectious animals and those that might reasonably be expected to be carrying serious infectious diseases.

Adequate isolation facilities may be on site or at another location, such as a local veterinary practice or through specific changes in management practices demonstrated by written procedures. If the isolation facility is at another location, such as a local licensee, a letter must be provided by the practice stating that they are prepared to provide such facilities.

Animals showing signs of infectious disease must not be allowed in any shared outside exercise area, and must be removed from any exhibit where they will interact with the public or other animals.


All reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread among the animals and people of infectious diseases, pathogens and parasites.

Staff and customers must wash hands before and after handling animals. Any equipment used must be disinfected.

An up-to-date veterinary vaccination record must be seen to ensure that where relevant animals have current vaccinations. Vaccines used must be licenced for use in the UK. Homoeopathic vaccination is not acceptable.

If there is evidence of external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice) the animal must be treated with a product authorised for use by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate

9.5All excreta and soiled bedding for disposal must be stored and disposed of in a hygienic manner and in accordance with any relevant legislation.

All excreta and soiled bedding for disposal must be kept in a hygienic manner. Excreta and soiled bedding must be removed from the premises on a regular basis, at least weekly, disposed of to the satisfaction of the appropriate local authority, and in accordance with current regulations and good waste management practice.

9.6Sick or injured animals must receive prompt attention from a veterinarian or, in the case of fish, an appropriately competent person and theWhen an animal is suspected of being ill or injured a competent person must assess the animal and, where required, a veterinarian must be contacted for advice immediately. Any instructions or treatment given by a veterinarian must be recorded and strictly followed with further advice sought if there is ongoing concern.
9.7Where necessary, animals must receive preventative treatment by an appropriately competent person. 
9.8The licence holder must register with a veterinarian with an appropriate level of experience in the health and welfare requirements of any animals specified in the licence and the contact details of that veterinarian must be readily available to all staff on the premises used for the licensable activity.

The name, address and telephone contact number of the veterinary practice used by the establishment must be accessible to all members of staff. The veterinary practice must be within a reasonable travel distance and out of hours arrangements must be known. Where access to a specialist vet is limited owing to availability, registration with a local vet who is willing to contact and take advice from a specialist can be used.

The licence holder should ensure that the veterinary practice assesses their competence to act in relation to each species and, if knowledge is lacking in any area, help to make arrangements for access to specialist knowledge such as a competent secondary veterinary practice should the need arise for any specific species. The licence holder must provide information relating to any arrangement like this for each species held to demonstrate veterinary competence for those animals.

9.9Prescribed medicines must be stored safely and securely to safeguard against unauthorised access, at the correct temperature, and used in accordance with the instructions of the veterinarian.


9.10Medicines other than prescribed medicines must be stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer or veterinarian. 

Cleaning products must be suitable, safe and effective against pathogens that pose a risk to the animals. They must be used, stored and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and used in a way which prevents distress or suffering.

Cleaning and disinfection products must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Cleaning and disinfection products used shall be non‐toxic and compatible with other products used.

Staff using cleaning products must be competent in the safe use of detergents and fluids. Cleaning products must be kept entirely out of the reach of animals, and must never be left in animal enclosures.


No person may euthanise an animal except a veterinarian or a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose or

  1. in the case of fish, a person who is competent for such purpose;
  2. in the case of horses, a person who is competent, and who holds a licence or certificate, for such purpose.
  3. a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose

Where a licence holder is breeding or purchasing live vertebrate animals that are to be euthanised for the purpose of feeding to other stock held on the premises the method of euthanasia must be assessed by a veterinarian and signed off as to the satisfaction of the veterinarian that the method is humane and effective, and continues to be so. The method of euthanasia must be safe and humane for both the culled animal and the animal being fed.

Where euthanasia is not carried out by, or under the direct supervision of, a veterinarian the rationale for why the animal was euthanised, the method deployed and the member of staff carrying out the euthanasia must be recorded and records made available at subsequent inspections. This does not apply to fish.

Under no circumstances may an animal be euthanised other than in a humane and effective manner. In case of doubt as to humane and effective methods, veterinary advice must be sought.

9.13All animals must be checked at least once daily or more regularly as necessary to check for any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour. Vulnerable animals must be checked more frequently. Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian (or in the case of fish, of an appropriately competent person) must be sought and followed


9.14Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian (or in the case of fish, of an appropriately competent person) must be sought and followed.

Checks must not cause unnecessary stress or disturbance. Visual checks are acceptable.

A system of recording abnormalities must be maintained.


A written emergency plan, acceptable to the local authority, must be in place, known and available to all the people on the premises used for the licensable activity, and followed where necessary to ensure appropriate steps are taken to protect all the people and animals on the premises in case of fire or in case of breakdowns for essential heating, ventilation and aeration or filtration systems or other emergencies.

All electrical installations must be maintained in a safe condition for health and safety of staff and animals. There must be an effective contingency plan for essential heating, ventilation and aeration/ filtration systems, as appropriate, if electricity failed.

Staff must all have contact numbers of a veterinarian who will visit if required.

Entrances and fire exits must be clear of obstructions at all times.

Suitable firefighting, prevention and detection equipment must be provided and maintained in good working order and regularly serviced. Staff must be properly trained on the use of equipment provided.

There must be a plan for accommodation of the animals should the premises become uninhabitable.

Before any of the animals arrive on-site of an exhibit location, an emergency plan must be in place. This should include the recovery and treatment of any escaped animals and evacuation procedures in the event of a fire, flood, etc.

An emergency plan must include a list of any listed species on the current Schedule of the Dangerous Wild Animal Act held, where applicable, and the specific action plan for their safe removal and immediate appropriate rehoming in the case of emergency.

10.2The plan must include details of the emergency measures to be taken for the extrication of the animals should the premises become uninhabitable and an emergency telephone list that includes the fire service and police. 
10.3External doors and gates must be lockable. 
10.4A designated key holder with access to all animal areas must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.There must be a designated person available for emergencies. A reasonable distance would, in normal conditions, be interpreted as no more than 30 minutes travelling time.

Part B - Specific Conditions


The licence holder must hold valid public liability insurance in respect of the licensable activity of keeping or training animals for exhibition.

A copy of the policy document must be taken to exhibits ready for inspection if requested.
2.1A written policy detailing contingency measures in the event of the breakdown of a vehicle used to transport the animals or any other emergency must be available to all staff.All drivers must carry an accident book and have in place procedures for managing accidents involving the animals in transit, including emergency contact details of a person with suitable training to deal with animal injuries.
3.0Suitable Environment 

Suitable temporary accommodation must be provided for all the animals at any venue where they are exhibited.

All animals involved for longer than a day must be provided with on-site housing and/or rest areas as set out under 5.2 that allow for a range of movement and natural behaviours. There should be enough separate rooms or securely partitioned areas to avoid unfamiliar animals being mixed together. Wherever possible, the animal's normal housing should be used. If possible, fish should be moved in the same water as they have been permanently housed.

The design and layout of the premises must allow animals to be able to control their visual access to surroundings and animals in other enclosures. It should also minimise the number of animals that staff disturb when removing any individual animal.

If animals are on public display, signs must be displayed on enclosures to deter members of the public from tapping on glass or poking fingers into cages.

The distance between the resting facilities and the working environment should be kept to a minimum where possible

4.0Monitoring of behaviour and training
4.1The animals must be trained by competent staff and given suitable and adequate opportunities to become habituated to being exhibited, using positive reinforcement.

If animal training takes place during exhibition it must be done in a way that minimises stress to the animal.

Consideration should be made to the need for the presence of a veterinary surgeon on set or location to provide welfare assurances where feasible, where a particular hazard has been identified in the risk assessment, or where otherwise required by industry standards.

All props, costumes and equipment must be inspected before and after each use and animals examined for signs of discomfort, rubbing or damage.

Props, animal costumes, make-up and any special effects must not pose a risk to the animal nor cause any unnecessary pain, suffering, distress or discomfort, and must be used for the shortest time possible. Carbon dioxide (used to produce dry ice) and artificial smoke can be harmful to and is aversive to many species and should be avoided. It must never be used around birds, reptiles or amphibians.

Animals must not be exposed to glare, heat, noises or other conditions unless specifically habituated to these conditions in advance of the exhibition. For animals trained in this way exposures must be reduced to the shortest possible time and when possible the effect achieved by using other methods such as camera angles and techniques. Veterinary advice must be sought and recorded.

An animal must not be forced to do anything, nor should it be expected to do anything outside its normal behaviour repertoire or for which it has not been trained. The number of animal trainers and handlers must be consistent with the number and species of animals being used. All effects such as fires, explosives and similar must be determined in consultation with the veterinarian, animal consultant and trainer prior to filming. Restraining equipment must not be used on animals not trained to wear them, or if an animal struggles or resists.

5.0Housing with, or apart from, other animals
5.1Social animals must not be exhibited if their removal from and reintroduction to the group with which they are usually housed causes them or any other animal within that group stress, anxiety or fear. 
5.2Animals must be prevented from coming into contact with each other during any exhibition where such contact would be likely to cause any of them to show signs of aggression, fear or distress.

Animals showing signs of aggression, fear or distress must not be used in an exhibit. If signs of fear or distress occur during exhibition either the exhibition must cease or the animals removed immediately to a place of safety.

Predators and prey must not be kept within sight, sound or smell of each other. Animals must not be used to goad others in order to achieve an effect.

5.3All persons likely to come into contact with the animals during an exhibition must be briefed about how to behave around the animals, in order to minimise anxiety, fear and stress in the animals.

Everyone on the production site (including audience, actors and production crew) must be informed about what kinds of animals will be used, how to behave around them (including sudden/loud noises such as applause), or movements that might frighten the animals and/or make them panic or react aggressively.

Those exhibiting animals must request that the event manager alerts them to any other activities involving loud noises or other activities (e.g. other animals) which may cause anxiety for the animals and seek to minimise it as much as possible by locating the animals as far away as possible.

Everyone coming into contact with exhibited animals must be briefed on how to minimise the risks of diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animals. Sufficient handwashing must be available for people coming into contact with animals.

No-one other than staff responsible for the animals must be allowed to pet, handle or play with animals during the working day unless supervised and directly involved with the required action and consistent with the best interest of the animal.

5.4No female animal with unweaned offspring may be removed from its home environment and newborn, unweaned or dependent offspring must not be removed from their mothers. 
6.1The licence holder must keep a list of each animal kept, or trained, for exhibition with all the information necessary to identify that animal individually (including its common and scientific names) and must provide the local authority with a copy of the list and any change to it as soon as practicable after the change.

Any new types of animals acquired for exhibition that are not specified on the licence or where the number of a particular type of animal exceeds the number on the licence, must be notified in writing to the Local Authority. This should not result in an additional inspection unless the numbers are significant.

7.0Protection from pain, suffering, injury & disease

7.1 A register must be kept of each animal exhibited or to be exhibited which must include:

  1. the full name of the supplier of the animal,
  2. its date of birth,
  3. the date of its arrival,
  4. its name (if any), age, sex, neuter status, description and microchip or ring number (if applicable),
  5. the name and contact details of the animal's normal veterinarian and details of any insurance relating to it,
  6. details of the animal's relevant medical and behavioural history including details of any treatment administered against parasites and any restrictions on exercise or diet,
  7. a record of the date or dates of the animal's most recent vaccination, worming and flea treatments, and
  8. the distance to and times taken for it to travel to and from each exhibition event.
If the animal does not require vaccinations, worming or flea treatment this must be stated. If any of this information is unknown the reason for that must be documented.
7.2A record of when the animals are exhibited must be kept and an animal rotation policy must be put in place to ensure that the animals have enough rest between and during exhibition events.

The log must include:

  • Date of exhibit;
  • Time of exhibit;
  • Duration of exhibit (Arrival to departure time);
  • Type of exhibit;
  • Animals used in exhibit
  • Location of exhibit
  • Distance/travel time to exhibit from licensed premises
  • Usage - time working, time resting and actions must be kept. This would record comments on behaviour, injury, any form of problem.
  • Call sheets must be retained.
  • A record must be kept for each individual animal setting out how often and the length of time used in any exhibit with clear rest periods in the home environment set out.
  • Animals must have clear breaks from exhibits that enable them to perform normal behaviour in their home environment including sleeping, feeding and play and must not be used on a continuous basis.
7.3All the animals used in exhibition events must be in good physical and mental health.

All animals used in exhibition events must be allowed to acclimatise after arrival, prior to exhibition. During exhibition breaks, animals must be moved to a suitable, secure designated place, or exercised if suitable, unless doing so would be expected to impair welfare to a greater extent than remaining in the exhibition area.

7.4The exhibited animals must be suitable for the specific conditions, type of enclosure and actions involved in the exhibition. 
7.5Any equipment, chemicals and other materials used in the exhibition must not cause the animal(s) pain, discomfort, fatigue or stress.

Toxic substances must not be used at the same time as the animals in any production. If hazardous or toxic substances are involved beforehand, washing facilities and emergency treatments for animals should be provided close to the site and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) data sheets need to be completed and circulated as required.

These must be given to the attending veterinarian in the event of an accident that results in an animal touching, breathing in or eating such a substance.

7.6The animals must be transported in suitable, secure and appropriately labelled carriers.

Carriers must be suitable for the species. They must be large enough to allow the animal to move around but small enough to minimise any injury during transit. When there are circumstances where movement must be restricted to avoid injury, the reasons must be set out within the written transport procedure.

Where an animal requires external life support this must be provided for during transportation e.g. appropriate temperatures for reptiles, water temperature for fish.

All animal carriers in transit must be appropriately secured to ensure no movement or escape whilst in transit.

Animals and must not be mixed with different species and unfamiliar animals in carriers.

Where a number of animals are mixed in the same carrier then it must be of an appropriate size to prevent overcrowding.

Transport carriers must be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.

Each animal carrier must have a label securely attached that identifies the contents and states that it contains live animals.

7.7The licence holder or the licence holder's staff must undertake a risk assessment before each exhibition event.

The risk assessment must assess against each of the five welfare needs of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the mitigating measures taken to reduce these risks and person(s) responsible.

The operator must familiarise themselves with an evacuation procedure for each venue in the event of an emergency.

7.8The animals must not be handled by persons whose behaviour appears at the time to be influenced by the consumption of alcohol or by any psychoactive substance. 

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