Pet shop licence

Why do I need a licence?

To run a business selling pet animals including vertebrates you need a licence from the local authority. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet.

Must I meet a certain criteria before I can apply for a licence?

Applicants for a pet shop licence must not be disqualified from keeping a pet shop.

What legislation applies?

Pet Animals Act 1951 and Pet and Animals Act 1951 (Amendment) Act 1983

What conditions are attached to the licence once issued?

Local authorities must have regard to the following when considering an application for a pet shop licence:

  • that animals will be kept in suitable accommodation, for example in regards to temperature, size, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • adequate food and drink will be provided to the animals and they will be visited at suitable intervals
  • that any mammalian animals will not be sold too young
  • that steps are taken to prevent disease spreading among the animals
  • that adequate fire and emergency provisions are in place

Conditions can be attached to a licence to ensure that the above are complied with.

How will my application be determined?

An officer from the council will inspect the premise before a licence is issued and annually before the renewal of the licence. The Council also may wish to appoint a veterinary surgeon instead of or in conjunction with a council officer.

How much will it cost?

Please see our licensing fees page.

How do I apply?

Do I need to provide further information or evidence?

Evidence of Public Liability Insurance needs to be submitted with your application.

How long will it take to process my application?

We will endeavour to process your application within 20 working days. If acknowledgement of receipt of your application has not been received within this time, please contact us.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.

If my application is refused how do I appeal?

Please contact us in the first instance for details of how to appeal.

How do I tell you about a change that may affect my licence?

You must notify us in writing of any changes to your current licence

What if I have a complaint or concern?

If you have a complaint or concern about a Pet Shop Licence, please contact us.

General advice

If you are in the UK, advice is available from Consumer Direct

If you are outside the UK, advice if available from the UK European Consumer Centre

Can I view a public register on line?

No, as this register is not available for public inspection.