Pet shops

To run a business selling pet animals 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. Domestic properties are also included in this.


The Pet Animals Act 1951 (as amended) (full legislation)


All Pet Shop Licences expire on 31st December each year, regardless of when they were granted. The licensee must then apply for a new licence which will run until the next 31st December.


A fee is payable upon application.  View the details of fees for a pet shop licence.

Application evaluation process

We will 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


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

Right of appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which the licence is subject, may appeal to the Magistrates Court and the Courts may give such direction regarding the licence and its conditions as it thinks proper.

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