Selling Animals as Pets

The sale of animals as pets is controlled by the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018. This licensable activity includes pet shops, replacing Pet Shop Licences, and also includes other types of business that may be involved in the sale of animals.

Who needs to apply?

Any person or business selling animals as domestic pets or for ornamental purposes needs a Selling Animals as Pets Licence. Animals cannot be sold in the open air or from a market stall.


Any licence granted is subject to conditions. The local authority must also be satisfied the conditions will be met prior to the grant of a licence. These conditions are laid out in the Schedules of the above Regulations.  General conditions apply to all licences, and further relevant conditions are specific to the activity that is being applied for. Guidance notes on these conditions, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), are also available.

Application Forms

An animal activity licence application form (Part A) [PDF, 291 KB] can be downloaded, printed and sent to us along with an application form to sell animals as pets (Part B) [PDF, 312 KB].

Both forms are required for the application. All documents supporting this application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.   

Fees and charges

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our licence fee register.


We aim to process applications within 10 weeks, however this may take longer if further information is required or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018

The Government introduced a significant change with the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018. Visit the Canine and Feline Sector Group’s website for guidance documents to assist businesses in meeting the new requirements set out under those Regulations which came into effect on 1 October 2018.

Tel: 01724 297750

Licensing Department
PO Box 42
Church Square House
DN15 6XQ

Monday to Thursday
9:00 am – 12.30 pm & 2:00 pm – 4.30 pm

9:00 am – 12.30 pm & 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm