Pet shops


Pet shops

To run a business selling animals as pets you need a Licence from the Local Authority.

Licence summary

Pet Shop licences covers all commercial sales, including Pet Shops and any business selling animals over the internet.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants for a Pet Shop licence must not be disqualified from keeping a Pet Shop.

A summary of Pet Shop Regulation is available from the National Archives. We have also produced our own pdf icon Standard Conditions for a Pet Shop [58kb]

Application process and fee

The fee for this licence is £185 plus any actual vet costs if required.

For new applications only, applicants may pay 5% less when making an application. If you do, you would then be invoiced for this amount plus £20 for the additional administration cost, when the licence has been 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.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent does not apply to Pet Shop licences

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes Service or use the contact details below.

How to apply

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 come into effect on 1 October 2018 and this new legislation will completely change the animal licensing regime, including the application process.

We are currently waiting for new application forms to be provided by DEFRA and for new fees to be set. For more information please visit our New Animal Licensing Regime page.

We will update our pages as soon as we can.

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any person who is refused a licence can appeal to the Magistrates court.

Licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any licence holder who objects to a condition attached to a licence may appeal to the local Magistrates court.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked can offer advice on Consumer Protection Rights.

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