Selling Animals as Pets

Who needs a licence to sell animals as pets?

The Animal Welfare (Licencing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 requires that anyone who trades in pets (defined as any vertebrate including fish) must have a licence to sell animals as pets if they are considered to be operating a business.  The criteria used to decide whether a licence is or is not required is set out in the Government's statutory guidance on selling animals as pets.  The guidance is published on the Government's website.

How can I apply?

If you wish to apply for a licence, you need to complete and submit a licence application form, to the Council, together with written procedures.  You are required to have in place the written procedures as set out within the Government's statutory guidance, in order to meet licence conditions.  If you require any assistance in producing the written procedures, please contact the Council's animal licensing officer, using the contact details below.

Licence application fees will apply.  Vets fees may also apply where a vet is employed to attend the inspection visit by the Council.  

Licence application process

An onsite inspection visit will be carried out and following that, a decision will be made as to whether to grant or refuse the licence application.  The Council allows 10 weeks for the processing and determination of licence applications.  In certain circumstances this period of time may be extended.  If however a business is not complying with all licence conditions by the end of this period, the licence may be refused by the Council and you may then be required to resubmit a new application once you are meeting all licence conditions. 

Grant of Licence

All businesses applying for a new licence must meet all of the licence conditions before a licence can be granted. There can be no minor failings.

Where a licence is granted, the business will be awarded a star-rating from 1 to 5 stars depending on how well the business complies with the licence conditions and whether the higher standard conditions have been met. The licence will be granted for either 1, 2 or 3 years, depending on the star-rating achieved. 1 star licences are only granted to existing businesses that have minor failings. One star licences cannot be granted to new businesses.

Matters to consider

  • Can you comply with the licence conditions
  • 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.

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: 28/07/2022 - 16:26