Pet shop licence
If you sell animals as pets, or with a view that they will later be sold as pets, you will need a licence under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
Pet shop licences are valid for one, two or three years based on a risk assessment. The more conditions you meet, the better chance you have of being granted a longer licence.
In order to secure a pet shop licence, your business must meet the conditions in the legislation and the guidance set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA):
- General conditions (Schedule 2 of the legislation)
- Specific conditions for selling animals as pets (Schedule 3 of the legislation)
- DEFRA guidance notes
A Council officer or vet may inspect your premises before giving you a licence, and any time after the licence is granted. Some visits will be unannounced as required by the legislation.
The more conditions you meet, the better chance you have of being granted a longer licence.
Apply for a pet shop licence
To apply for a pet shop licence, please complete the following steps:
- Read the legislation
- Check the list of people who cannot apply for a licence (Regulation 11)
- Read the specific DEFRA guidance notes issued for your licence
- Check the licence fee using our fees table
- Fill out our Animal Licence application form online and pay
We will take the full payment when you apply. If your licence is not granted, part of your licence fee will be refunded to you.
Vary a licence
If you wish to vary your licence, please email email@example.com giving full details.
If you breach your pet shop licence or run a pet shop without one, you could be fined.
If you stop or delay an inspection your licence can be taken away and you could be banned from running a pet shop.
For more details, please read the legislation.
Complusory Microchipping Laws - Cats and Dogs
From 6 April 2016 it became compulsory for dog owners to ensure their dogs are microchipped; dogs must be fitted with a microchip and registered on a database by the age of 8 weeks old.
New laws coming into force on 10 June 2024, will require cats in England to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they reach 20 weeks old.
For more information Visit The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website.