Pet shop licence

To run a pet shop selling animals, you need a licence from us.

Breeders of pedigree animals who sell their animals directly are exempt.

The Pet Animals Act 1951 regulates this licence.

How to apply for a pet shop licence

pdf icon Download – Apply for a licence to keep a pet shop [12kb]

Cost of a pet shop licence

£142 a year.

Inspections and assessment

To get a licence you must prove to our inspectors:

  • You are suitably qualified to keep animals of the type and numbers you propose
  • The animals will be kept in suitable accommodation - the right construction, size, temperature lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • They will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding materials and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals
  • Mammals will not be sold too young
  • That all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infectious disease among the animals
  • Steps will be taken to protect the animals against fire or other emergencies
  • Detailed registers of the animals are kept and available for inspection at any time
  • No animal will be sold to a child under the age of 12

Before we issue the licence, we will inspect your premises. We may carry out further inspections during the year to check you are meeting the conditions of the licence.

What happens after we receive your application

  • We aim to respond to your application within three working days
  • We aim to decide your application within 28 days
  • Don't assume the licence has been granted if you haven't heard from us for a month. Check with us first.

How to appeal our decision

If we refused your application, contact us to see if we can sort out the problem.

You can appeal to the local magistrates' court.

How to renew your licence

The licence runs from 1 January to 31 December. We will write to you in October enclosing the application form. You must renew your licence by 31 December each year.

How to tell us of changes

You must tell us of any changes to your circumstances. Our contact details are on the right hand side of this page.

Offences and penalties

  • Any person found guilty of keeping a pet shop without a licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £500 or to three months imprisonment or both
  • Any person found guilty of failing to comply with their licence conditions may be subject to a fine not exceeding £500 or to three months imprisonment or both
  • Any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector, or authorised veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner in the exercising of their powers of entry may be fined up to a maximum of £500
  • If found guilty under this Act, the defendant's licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping a pet shop for such length of time as the court thinks fit

Customer complaints

If you have a complaint against a trader, we advise you contact them by letter (with proof of delivery).

If that fails and you are in the UK, Citizens Advice will give you advice.

For outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

If you have concerns about a pet shop, contact us using the details on this page.

 
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