Pet shop licence

If you want to keep a pet shop, you need to get a licence from us. Keeping and running a pet shop is controlled by the Pet Animals Act 1951.

Before issuing a licence, officers inspect the premises to check it complies with general health and safety requirements. They also check the welfare of the animals.

There is a fee of £83.85 payable with each application.

Licences for pet shops can be issued as long as the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following Acts:

We can refuse or withold a licence for other reasons, if those reasons mean that the conditions of the premises are not suitable for keeping animals.

Each licence has standard conditions which must be met. Your licence may also have special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.

Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on the 31 December of the year to which it relates. It must be renewed before that date if you want to continue running the premises as a pet shop.

Before being granted a licence, you must be able to demonstrate that:

  • you are suitably qualified to keep animals of the type and number you are proposing to keep
  • that the animals will be kept in accommodation that is of a suitable construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • that the animals will have adequate food, drink and bedding materials
  • that they are visited at suitable intervals if necessary
  • that mammals will not be sold at too early an age
  • that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infectious disease
  • that appropriate steps will be taken to protect the animals in the case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable fire fighting equipment
  • that you will keep a register containing a description of any animal received on the premises, the animals' age and sex, the date of acquisition and departure and the source from which the animals are received
  • that the register will be available for inspection at all times by a Licensing Inspector, Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner authorised by us
  • you will not sell any animal to a child under 12

If your application is refused, or you disagree with any of the conditions of a licence, you can appeal to the Magistrates Court.

Offences and fines

  • If you are found guilty of keeping a pet shop without a licence, you could be fined up to £500 or sent to prison for three months or both
  • If you are found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of your  licence, you could be fined up to £500 or sent to prison for three months or both
  • If you are found guilty of obstructing or delaying entry by an Inspector, authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner you could be fined up to a maximum of £500
  • If you are found guilty under this Act, your licence may be cancelled and you may be disqualified from keeping a pet shop for as long as the Court thinks fit