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Selling Animals as Pets

Any business importing, distributing or selling animals as pets, or with a view to them being later resold as pets requires a licence. This includes businesses registered with companies’ house and businesses or individuals operating from domestic premises for commercial purposes who may or may not be registered with companies should be licensed by their local authority.

Also, premises open to the public or to other businesses where animals are available for purchase are required to be licensed.

General indicators of running a business selling animals as pets may include:

  • the import, distribution and sale of animals by means of a fixed fee
  • the purchase of animals with the express intent to sell them on
  • animals being bought and then re-advertised for sale or sold within a short period of time
  • the number, frequency and/or volume of sales, or systematic and repeated transactions using the same means of advertising
  • high volumes of animals sold or advertised for sale or high numbers of litters or progeny
  • low volumes of animals sold or advertised for high sales prices
  • high numbers of advertisements of animals for sale, at any one time, over a short period of time or regularly, including on classified websites
  • advertising through a variety of sites, forums or media

‘Each business issued with a licence will be awarded a ‘Star Rating’, which must be displayed. The Star Rating will range from 1 star (meeting minimum standards) to 5 stars (meeting higher standards) and will be based on compliance with the Statutory Conditions and Standards. Information on how the Local Authority calculates the Star Rating can be found in the DEFRA guidance entitled ‘Procedural Guidance for Local Authorities’,’

Please refer to the downloadable Selling of Animals as Pets Conditions and DEFRA guidance document for more information.

Application & Fees

* Where an application relates to more than one activity, the higher licence application/Issue fee will apply and the additional activity fee will also be payable for each additional licensable activity applied for.
Licence Type 2024-25 PART A Application Fee  PART B Grant of Licence Fee Additional Cost to Applicant
Selling Animals as Pets New £200.60 £60.70 Nil
Renewal £176.20 £60.70 Nil
Compliance visit Calculated at an
hourly rate of £75.60
N/A Nil
Additional Licensable Activities* New / Renewal

Compliance visit

Calculated at an
hourly rate of £75.60
£60.70 + Vets Fee if required
Variation to licence/re-evaluation of star rating - Animal Boarding / Selling Animals as Pets / Keeping animals for exhibition Variation £151.20  N/A  Nil
Minor Variation of Licence - fixed fee Variation £32.00  N/A  Nil
Transfer of Licence due to death of licensee - fixed fee Transfer £32.00  N/A  Nil

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