Selling Animals as Pets

Who needs a licence to sell animals as pets?

Anyone who trades in pets (defined as any vertebrate including fish) must have a licence to sell animals as pets issued by the Council.  On receipt of the licence application, which must give details of the numbers and types of animals that are to be kept on the premises, an inspection will be made by an officer of the Council to ensure that:

  • animals will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable as respects size, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • animals will be adequately supplied with food and drink and visited at suitable intervals
  • animals will not be sold at too early an age
  • all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among animals
  • appropriate steps will be taken in the case of fire or other emergency

If necessary the Council may require the specialist advice of a veterinary surgeon, especially in cases where exotic pets are being sold.  Any costs associated with this will be recharged to the applicant.

Licences will be subject to the licence conditions set out in The Animal Welfare (Licencing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

This application is subject to tacit approval under the European Union Services Directive.  Applications are usually dealt with within 35 days of receipt of a full application.  In exceptional circumstances the deadline may be required to be extended, you will be notified of the new deadline and the reason for extending it.

How can I apply?

If you wish to apply for a licence to sell animals as pets, you can complete and submit an on-line application form.

You will find a list of our current Licensing Fees on our Animal Licensing page.

Each premises will receive a star-rating from 1 star to 5 stars depending on how well the business complies with the licence conditions set out in The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals (England) Regulations 2018.  The licence will be issued for either 1, 2 or 3 years, depending on the star-rating achieved.

Matters to consider

In addition to ensuring that you can meet the licence conditions, you should consider the following:

  • For new businesses selling animals as pets, planning permission may be required.  Further information on this can be obtained from Planning Services.
  • If you are running a business, you must ensure the health and safety of yourself, any staff and the public.  Advice on health and safety at work can be obtained from our Health and Safety team.
  • Waste disposal arrangements

Making a complaint

If you are concerned about a business selling animals as pets in the Tendring District please contact us, or you can complete and submit our online report form.

Please note that, although we will maintain the confidentiality of your enquiry, we cannot deal with anonymous complaints, so please leave a contact name and details so that the officer dealing with your query can speak to you.

Contact Details:

Environmental Health
88-90 Pier Avenue
CO15 1TN
Telephone: 01255 686767 

Last updated on: 04/12/2019 - 16:56