Pet shop licence

Licence to keep a pet shop 

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

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

A fee, determined by the council, will be payable on application.

Regulation summary
View a summary of the regulation relating to this licence on the Pet Animals Act 1951 website.

Application evaluation process
The council 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.

What happens if your application is not processed by the council within the timescale stated?
Tacit consent applies which means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the council by the end of the target completion period. 

Apply online at Business Link

Application for a licence to keep a pet shop
Application to change a pet shop licence
Application to renew a licence to keep a pet shop Application form
Please complete and return to the licensing team.

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any person who is refused a licence can appeal to the local magistrates court.  A court or Sheriff may give directions on the issue of a licence.

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. A court or Sheriff may give directions on the issue of a condition.

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, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Trade associations
Pet Care Trust (PCT)

For more advice and information, please contact us.