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Animal welfare licensing

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 pet animals with the view to them being sold
  • you breed pets with view to them being sold - if large numbers are bred and sold or small numbers are bred but sold for high prices. In this instance, we would consider situations on an individual basis and this would include consideration of the following: frequency of litters bred, sale price of the pets sold, whether different breeds or species are bred and how they are advertised

If, after considering the points above we believe a licence is required, a breeder may demonstrate with evidence that they are not making a profit and so fall out of scope.

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

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.

How to apply

Download and complete the following document:

If you are applying for more than one activity, please fill out all relevant forms.

Completed forms may be returned to:

Animals and Licensing
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House, 5th Floor
Beckhampton Street

Alternatively, they may be sent to

How to pay

Fees can be paid by cheque made payable to Swindon Borough Council or by phone on 01793 466114. Only the application fee needs to be paid with the application. The grant fee for the issue of the licence is payable following inspection.

The full fee list is available to view below:

Licensable activity Application fee including renewals Additional costs Licence grant fee - 1 year Licence grant fee - 2 years Licence grant fee - 3 years
Selling animals as pets £145 Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost £240 £315 £370
Variation of licence £55 Vets fees where applicable and recharged at cost plus £85 inspection fee if required. None None None
Minor Variation – minor administrative change. For example, name change or additional carer name £15 None None None None
Transfer due to death of licensee £55 None None None None
Re-evaluation of star rating £45 + £85 inspection fee None None None None
Copy of licence £10.50 None None None None
Combination of licensable activities Fee chargeable is the highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee Vets fees as required recharged at cost Fee chargeable is the highest fee combined with 50% of lowest grant fee Fee chargeable is the highest fee combined with 50% of lowest grant fee Fee chargeable is the highest fee combined with 50% of lowest grant fee


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