Pet shop licences

Information about licensing of pet shops

If you intend to run a pet shop and sell animals you will need to apply to the council for a licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951 This link will take you to an external website...

There are conditions attached to the licence you will need to achieve, which aim to protect the welfare of the animal, maintain standards in the management of your premises, as well as ensure the correct precautions are taken against disease.   Please note we may amend these conditions to suit individual circumstances. 

Application charges

We make a non refundable charge to consider a licence application and you must pay your fees in full when the application is made. If necessary, we may need the advice of a vet before we can consider issuing you with a licence, particularly for exotic animals, the cost of which we will recharge to you.


We aim to issue the licence or give reasons why a licence was not granted within three months of receipt of a complete application form where the licence fee has been paid in full.

Licences expire on 31 December each year irrespective of the issue date.


For first applications (and some other circumstances) a site visit will need to be conducted during the consideration of the application to check the facilities of the proposed premises.  There is no deemed approval of applications until a licence is granted or you are informed that the licence will not be issued.

Renewal of licences

Licences expire on 31 December each year.  A licence will only be reissued on receipt of a new application and the appropriate fee.

Appeals and complaints

If you have concerns about how your application is handled the first point of contact will be the case officer dealing with your application.  If you are still not satisfied you can lodge a complaint firstly with their line manager. 

If you are dissatisfied with a decision not to issue a licence or by one or more of the conditions attached to your licence you can appeal to the magistrates court. This link will take you to an external website...   

Other considerations

The following matters are not directly taken into account when considering applications, but you are strongly encouraged to ensure that you have taken account of these issues before applying for a licence (this list is not intended to be exhaustive or comprehensive):

  • Will you need, and do you have, planning permission for the use of the site? You are strongly advised to contact planning Vale of White Horse District Council This link will take you to an external website... to have this confirmed in writing before you apply for a licence.
  • How will you dispose of waste? Business owners have a legal duty to safely manage, store and dispose of any waste generated as a result of their business.  You will need to engage a commercial waste contractor to dispose of any waste generated by your business.
  • The provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006  This link will take you to an external website...
  • What will be the noise impact on neighbours from barking.  Is the location appropriate and have appropriate measures been put in place to ensure that a problem is not created?
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, require responsible persons of all non domestic premises to undertake and implement a fire safety risk assessment of their premises.  For more information on this you can contact the fire service.
  • The health and safety of your staff and visitors to your site.  You can obtain more information on this from the Health and Safety Executive website.

Contact us

An application form can be found under the Downloads section of this page.  If you have an enquiry about a licence please contact Environmental Protection. 

Last reviewed: 31 - 10 - 2017

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