Last Modified October 19, 2015
You need a licence from us to keep a pet shop.
You can apply to us, providing you are not disqualified under any of the following:
- The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
- The Pet Animals Act 1951
- The Protection of Animals (Amendment ) Act 1954
- The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934
How much does it cost to apply?
How long does a licence last?
All licences expire on the 31 December of the year they were issued.
All licences need to be renewed before that date if you wish to continue running a pet shop.
How can I apply?
Or application forms are available from our offices.
What will you consider?
You will need to demonstrate to us that:
- you are suitably qualified to keep animals with regard to the type and number proposed to be kept;
- the animals will be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of construction, size, temperature lighting, ventilation and cleanliness;
- animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding materials and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals;
- mammals will not be sold at too early an age;
- all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infectious disease amongst the animals;
- appropriate steps will be taken to protect the animals in the case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable fire fighting equipment;
- a register containing a description of any animal received on the premises, the animals age and sex, the date of acquisition and departure and the source from which the animals are received is kept, and that this register will be available for inspection at all times by us or by a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner authorised by us;
- no animal will be sold to a child under the age of 12 years.
Can you refuse a licence?
A licence may be refused or withheld if we do not feel the conditions are suitable.
All pet shop licences are issued subject to standard conditions imposed by us, but special conditions, only applicable to your premises, may also be imposed.
What if you refuse my licence?
You can appeal either against a refusal of licence, or any conditions attached to it. You need to appeal to a Magistrates Court.
Can I be fined?
The keeping and running of a pet shop is controlled by the Pet Animals Act 1951 and the following offences and penalties apply:
- if you are found guilty of keeping a pet shop without a licence you may be fined up to £500 or sent to prison for three months, or both;
- if you are found guilty of failing to comply with your licence conditions you may be fined up to £500 or sent to prison for three months, or both.
- If you are found guilty of obstructing or delaying an inspector, or authorised veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner in exercising their powers of entry you may be fined up to a maximum of £500.
If found guilty under this act, your licence may be cancelled and you may be disqualified from keeping a pet shop for such length of time as the court thinks fit.
A copy of the Pet Animals Act 1951 can be inspected at our offices, along with our standard licensing conditions.