Pet shop licence

To sell animals you need a licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951 as amended, which includes pet shops and selling animals over the internet.

A pet shop is any building where animals are sold as pets, including your own home. You can’t sell animals as pets in public places – e.g. from a market stall.

You don’t need a licence to sell:

  • pedigree animals that you have bred
  • animals that are offspring of your own pet


We may carry out an inspection to check that:

  • the accommodation will be suitable for the animals
  • you will provide enough food and drink and visit the animals regularly where necessary
  • you will take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases
  • mammals won’t be sold if they’re too young
  • you have appropriate plans in case of fire or other emergencies

The council may also add other specific conditions to your licence.

Fines and penalties

If you run a pet shop without a licence, or break the terms of your licence, you could be fined up to £500 and/or imprisoned for up to 3 months.

Each licence contains standard conditions that are imposed on all pet shops licensed by the Council.

Any person that is refused a licence has the right to appeal.