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Pet shop licence

To run a business selling pet animals online or in a shop you will need a licence. Pet animals includes any vertebrate animals - fish, amphibian, reptile, bird or mammal.

You can't sell animals as pets in public places (for example from a market stall).


Animal welfare conditions will be attached to a licence, which will we check during inspections. Conditions relate to :

  • suitability of accommodation for the animals
  • providing enough food and drink and visit the animals regularly where necessary
  • precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases
  • the age of mammals (so they won't be sold if they're too young)
  • plans in place in case of fire or other emergencies.

Other species specific conditions may be attached to your licence.

How to apply

You can apply and pay online. The current fee is £260 (our vets fees will be recovered from you in addition to the licence fee where a veterinary inspection is necessary to grant the licence). If you are unable to apply online please contact us so we can send an application form. 

The licence expires on 31 December in the year that the application is made. A licence holder must ensure that the licence is renewed by 1 January annually if they wish to continue trading.

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 three months.

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