Animal Establishment Licensing

Pet Shops

The keeping and running of a pet shop is controlled by the Pet Animals Act 1951.

To run a business selling pet animals you need a license from the local authority. This covers the commercial selling of pet animals, including at pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet.

Local authorities must have regard to the following when considering an application for a pet shop license:

  • that animals will be kept in suitable accommodation, for example in regards to temperature, size, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • adequate food and drink will be provided to the animals and they will be visited at suitable intervals
  • that any mammalian animals will not be sold too young
  • that steps are taken to prevent disease spreading among the animals
  • that adequate fire and emergency provisions are in place

For more information: Pet shop conditions

If you have any welfare concerns for animals within a pet shop or believe a person is selling pets without a licence please contact us directly


ID: 2426, revised 23/01/2023