If you run a business, such as a pet shop, which sells animals as pets, you need a licence from the council under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
When is a licence needed?
- The import, distribution and sale of animals by a business.
- Businesses or individuals operating from domestic premises for commercial purposes (it should be noted that many may not be listed with Companies House).
- Premises that are open to members of the public or to other businesses where animals are available for purchase.
Selling pet animals as a business from a market or stall is prohibited under Section 2 of the Pet Animals Act 1951.
Activities that don't need a licence
- If you are a dog breeder, you will need a dog breeding licence.
- If you breed animals as a hobby, for pleasure, exhibition for prize, or for education, study or scientific advancement and occasionally sell a small number of surplus offspring/excess stock where no or very little profit is made.
- Organised events where people meet to sell surplus animals they have bred, or animals that are surplus to their requirements.
- Aquacultural production businesses that are authorised under regulation 5(1) of the Aquatic Animal Health (England and Wales) Regulations 2009, and that are inspected by the Fish Health Inspectorate