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.
- Guidance for Boarding Cats
- Guidance for Boarding Dogs
- Guidance for Hiring Horses
- Guidance for Home Boarding Dogs
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.