Selling animals as pets (pet shop) licence

Guidance and conditions

General conditions

General conditions apply in respect of:

  • licence display
  • records
  • use, number and type of animal
  • staffing
  • suitable environment
  • suitable diet
  • monitoring of behaviour and training of animals
  • animal handling and interactions
  • protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease
  • emergencies

Other conditions

Specific, extra conditions for pet sales set out requirements for:

  • records and advertisements
  • prospective sales: pet care and advice
  • suitable accommodation
  • purchase and sale of animals
  • protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Before a licence is issued an inspection will be undertaken by one of our experienced animal licensing officers. This may include a visit from a vet for a new licence holder. 

Where a licence holder is expected to have written plans, procedures, or documented checks, officers will wish to see these as part of the inspection. 

A licence with a score of one star can be issued to a previously licensed business if they have 'minor failings' which are predominantly administrative or if they are in relation to standards, they do not compromise the welfare of the animals. New applicants can only be licenced if they meet or exceed the minimum standards. Businesses meeting minimum standards will be graded 2 or 3 stars. Those meeting the higher standards, as laid down in the guidance, will score 4 or 5 stars. 

Full conditions are available on the Gov.UK web site.