Shropshire Council

Pet shop licence

The keeping and running of a pet shop is controlled by the Pet Animals Act 1951 (as superseded by the Animal Welfare Act 2006).

Anyone wanting to sell pet animals from any premises, including a private dwelling, to the general public, will need this licence.

Our duties

Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to our licensing inspector that:

  • they're suitably qualified to keep animals with regard to the type and number proposed to be kept
  • the animals will be kept in accommodation suitable with regard to 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 firefighting 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, and that the register will be available for inspection at all times by a licensing inspector, a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary practitioner authorised by us
  • no animal will be sold to a child under the age of 12 years

A licence may be refused or withheld on other grounds if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the keeping of animals.

Each licence is subject to standard conditions imposed on all pet shops licensed by us.

In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.

Your right of appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which a licence is subject may appeal to the magistrates court, which may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as they think proper.

Offences and penalties

The following offences and penalties apply to pet shops.

  • any person found guilty of keeping a pet shop without a licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £500 or to three months imprisonment or both
  • any person found guilty of failing to comply with their licence conditions may be subject to a fine not exceeding £500 or to three months imprisonment or both
  • any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an inspector, or authorised veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner in the exercising of their powers of entry may be fined up to a maximum of £500

If found guilty under this act, the defendant's licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping a pet shop for such length of time as the court thinks fit.

Am I eligible to apply for a pet shop licence?

Licences for pet shops may be issued provided the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following acts: The Pet Animals Act 1951, The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, The Protection of Animals (Amendment ) Act 1954. The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934.

Who needs one?

If you're selling pet animals from any premises, including a private dwelling to the general public, you'll need a licence. The only exceptions are if you're keeping and selling pedigree animals bred by yourself or selling the offspring of an animal kept as a pet.

How long will it take?

You should allow two months for your application to be processed.

How much will it cost?

There is a fee for issuing this document, which is taken when you apply.

What will I need before I apply?

  • Completed application form
  • Fee
  • See application form for any additional requirements

Do I need to do anything else?

Where a licence is granted that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on 31 December of the year to which it relates and must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue as a pet shop.

Apply now

Download the form, complete it on your home computer, and email it to

Download the form

Download the form, print it out, fill it in and post your application along with the fee if applicable to:

The Licensing Team, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND

Download the form