Pet shop licence

A pet shop licence is required from the Council if you carry on, at any premises, a business of selling animals as pets or if you keep animals with a view to them being sold. 


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There are very limited exemptions from requiring a licence.  Please refer to the Pet Animals Act 1951 for more information.

The Council is not permitted to issue a licence if a person for the time being is disqualified from:

  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • owning, keeping, dealing in, transporting, working with, riding or driving animals under the Animal Health Act 1981
  • providing any service relating to animals which involves taking possession of animals under the Animal health Act 1981
  • taking charge of animals for any purpose or taking possession of animals for the purpose of an activity in respect of which a disqualification is imposed under the Animal Health Act 1981
  • owning, keeping, dealing in, transporting, working with, using, riding or driving animals or for any purpose taking  charge of animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006
  • providing any service relating to animals which involves taking possession of animals or taking possession of animals for the purpose of an activity in respect of which a disqualification is imposed under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

Apply online for a Pet Shop Licence 

Or you can:

  • download an application form which you will need to complete and send back to the address on the form
  • call 01209 615055 to arrange an appointment to make a telephone application. Please note an additonal charge is payable for the telephone application service.

Renewing a licence

Apply to renew a Pet Shop Licence


There is a comprehensive range of business regulatory support services available to help and advise businesses to be more successful and compliant.

Applications are referred to the Council’s Licensing Compliance Team who will conduct an inspection of the premises to which the application relates.

We have a general discretion to decide whether to issue a licence or withhold a licence on any grounds.  When deciding whether to grant a licence, we will make sure:

  • that animals will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable as respects size, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • that animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food and drink and (so far as necessary) visited at suitable intervals
  • that animals, being mammals, will not be sold at too early an age
  • that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread among animals of infectious diseases
  • that appropriate steps will be taken in case of fire or other emergency

We will aim to have your application determined within 6 weeks of a valid and complete application. 

If we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted due to animal welfare implications.  Therefore, tacit consent does not apply. 

This means that you will not be able to keep a pet shop until a licence has been issued.

If it is decided that a licence will be issued then a licence fee becomes payable, see below. 

Any licence issued will be valid from the date of issue and will expire on 31 December in the same year. 

However, depending on your requirements, the licence can be issued to take effect on 1 January the following year which will then expire on 31 December the following year.

Please view the current licensing fees and charges to find out how much you will need to pay for your licence.

All licences have conditions imposed.  The Council will normally apply the model licence conditions published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

However, we do have discretion to amend these conditions or impose additional specific conditions as considered reasonable and appropriate in individual cases. 

If any person carries on a business of selling animals as pets in any part of a street, road or public place, or at a stall or barrow in a market, they will be committing an offence under the Pet Animals Act 1951. 

Under the same Act, if a person sells an animal as a pet to a person whom they have reasonable cause to believe to be under the age of 12 years then the seller will also be committing an offence.

If you wish to appeal a licence being refused, or any conditions which are part of your licence, you can appeal through the magistrates court. Details on how to do this will be provided should a licence be refused or when conditions of licence are being agreed.

We recommend that applications for any further licence is made three months in advance of the date that the licence is due to expire.

This is to allow time for the renewal application to be determined in advance of the current one expiring.  If a renewal application is still pending when the existing licence expires then this will mean that you will not be licenced to keep a pet shop.