Pet vending licence

The law is changing regarding animal welfare. If you have a licence or run a business involving animals, you need to be aware of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 which come into force on 1 October 2018.

Please read the guidance documents to assist businesses in meeting the new requirements set out under the above regulations.


To run a business selling pet animals you need a licence from the local authority. All commercial selling of pet animals - including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet - need a licence.

This is law under the Pet Animals Act 1951 and the Pet Animals 1951 (Amendment) Act 1983.  It’s against the law to sell pets in the street from a barrow or a market stall.

Environmental health officers inspect new premises before granting a licence. A veterinary surgeon may also be requested to visit. The licence is subject to an annual fee.

We will issue a licence if we are satisfied that:

  • The requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 can be met
  • Animals will be kept in suitable accommodation regarding size, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • Animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and be visited at suitable intervals
  • Mammals will not be sold at too early an age
  • Adequate precautions are in place to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases including zoonotic diseases
  • Adequate fire and emergency precautions are in place
  • The licence holder is suitable
  • The CBC pet vending licence conditions can be met at all times 

Make an application

Information on how to apply for a licence, including fees and how we make a decision on whether to grant an application.

Pet vending licensed in Cheltenham

There are several licensed pet vendors within Cheltenham borough. We currently have no pet venders for internet sales licensed from the borough.

Pet vendors are highlighted on the interactive map of all current animal licensed establishments.

Complaint or information about a pet vender

Please contact environmental health and provide details of the premises involved.  Please clearly state your concerns and reasoning.  All matters of concern will be investigated. For other animal welfare complaints see who is responsible in animal welfare.

When is a licence granted?

We inspect all new premises before a licence is granted. We may request a vet to visit the premises.

We will issue a licence when we are satisfied that the licence holder is suitable and animals are kept in a safe, clean environment with adequate food, drink, bedding and exercise facilities. For more information on our criteria for issuing animal boarding establishment licences, visit our licence application page.

Once a licence is granted an annual, bi-annual or more frequent inspection will be carried out depending on risk.

Further reading and relevant legislation

Cheltenham Borough Council provides the animal licensing service to you. We will use your personal information to provide this service to you and will need to share your information with relevant service areas within the council and partner organisations to enable us to do this. For further information about how the council uses information it holds about you please visit our privacy pages.