Apply for a licence to sell animals as pets
Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, a licence is required to sell animals as pets as part of a business.
When is a licence needed?
A licence will be required if:
- you sell pet animals as a business
- you keep or breed pet animals with the view to them being sold
In this instance, we would consider situations on an individual basis. This would include:
- the frequency of litters bred
- the sale price of the pets sold
- whether different breeds or species are bred
- how the animals are advertised for sale
Are there any exceptions?
The following examples are considered out of scope and do not require a licence:
- Where an individual can demonstrate the activity is undertaken as a hobby or for education or scientific advancement
- Where they are only selling surplus stock without making a profit
- Non commercial re-homing of animals such as a rescue centre
What should I consider?
Full details are available in the guidance notes below. Pay particular attention to the extended species specific guidance in parts C to L as appropriate.
Please note the following that may be of special interest:
- Breeding of dogs is considered a separate activity
- For the sale of dogs or cats you should also refer to Defra codes of practice on:
- Sellers cannot sell pet animals as a business from a market or stall
How to apply
Complete the following online form:
Apply for an animal activity licence
How to pay
The application fee is payable when you have completed the online form. Only the application fee needs to be paid at this time. The grant fee for the issue of the licence is payable following inspection.
Selling animals as pets
- Application fee including renewals - £200.00
- Additional costs - Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost.
- Licence grant fee for one year - £320.00
- Licence grant fee for two years - £420.00
- Licence grant fee for three years - £500.00
Variation of licence
- Application fee - £80.00
- Vets fees where applicable and recharged at cost plus £85 inspection fee if required.
- Minor administrative change (for example, name change or additional carer name) - £20.00
Transfer due to death of licensee
- Application fee - £80.00
Re-evaluation of star rating
- Application fee - £49.60
- Inspection fee - £93.70
Copy of licence
- Application fee - £11.60
Combination of licensable activities
- Application fee - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
- Additional costs - Vets fees as required recharged at cost.
- Licence grant fee for one year - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
- Licence grant fee for two years - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
- Licence grant fee for three years - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.