You will need a pet shop licence if you have a business selling animals as pets. This excludes keeping or selling pedigree animals bred privately, or the offspring of animals kept as pets.
Selling animals as pets as a business is prohibited in any part of a street, in a public place, or at a stall or barrow in a market.
To obtain a licence, you must comply in full with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
You must take care of the animals by:
- keeping them in suitable accommodation
- supplying them with adequate food, drink, and bedding material
- adequately exercising and visiting them regularly
- taking precautions to prevent the spread of infectious or contagious diseases
- ensuring appropriate steps will be taken in case of fire or other emergency
New licence: £195
Renewal licence: £195
Licences are issued annually.
How to apply
What happens next?
After you submit your application, we will contact you within 5 working days.
Your application will be validated and checks will be carried out to ensure your premises meet the required standards. Your licence will be issued within 20 working days.
A pet shop licence will not be issued if you have been disqualified under any of the following Acts:
- The Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963 (link opens in new window)
- The Pet Animals Act 1951 (link opens in new window)
- The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954 (link opens in new window)
- The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934 (link opens in new window)
Payments may be made by telephone (0300 300 8136) or cheque made payable to Central Bedfordshire Council, or you may pay online (link opens in new window).
The validation checklist is:
- application and payment received
- visit by officer from Public Protection
Your licence will be issued within 20 working days of payment.
Tacit consent does not apply for this licence. You must not assume that your licence is granted if you have not heard from us.
Offences and penalties
The following offences and penalties apply to the pet shops:
- any person found guilty of keeping a pet shop without a licence may be subject to a fine of up to £500, 3 months imprisonment, or both
- any person found guilty of failing to comply with their licence conditions may be subject to a fine up to £500, 3 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 £500
If found guilty under this Act, the licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping a pet shop for such length of time as the court thinks fit.
Appeals and complaints
If you have been refused a licence or have a complaint about the issue of the licence, you can write to:
The Service Manager
Central Bedfordshire Council
Alternatively, you can email the Service Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.