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Mail :
Licensing Team
Dept. of Community Services
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Phone :
01752 304141
Email :
Fax :
01752 226314


  • Animals
    Plymouth City Council
    PL6 5UF

Related pages


Rodent in tissue paper

Pet shop licence

A licence is required if you use any premises for the purposes of selling animals as pets.

You can’t sell animals as pets in public places, for example from a market stall.

A pet shop licence is not needed if a person is keeping or selling pedigree animals bred or the off spring of an animal kept as a pet.

Before being granted a pet shop licence you must be able to demonstrate that:

  • you are suitably qualified to keep animals with regard to the type and number proposed to be kept
  • the animals will be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of construction, size, temperature lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • the animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding materials and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals
  • mammals will not be sold at too early an age
  • all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infectious disease amongst the animals
  • appropriate steps will be taken to protect the animals in the case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable fire fighting equipment
  • a register containing a description of any animal received on the premises, the animals age and sex, the date of acquisition and departure and the source from which the animals are received, and that the register will be available for inspection at all times by a licensing inspector or by a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner authorised by the Council
  • no animal will be sold to a child under the age of 12 years

A licence may be refused or withheld on other grounds if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the keeping of animals. Each licence is subject to standard conditions that are imposed on all pet shops licensed by the Council. In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.



  • £150 - to be paid at the time the application is made.


The licence will expire after 12 months on 31 December of the following year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before that date if the licence holder is to continue to keep the animal(s) named on the licence.

Processing and timescales

Once we have received the completed application and associated supporting documents (if required) the target completion time is 21 days.

Complaints and appeals

If your licence has been refused, or you do not agree with the conditions that may have been associated with it, you may appeal to the Magistrates Court.

Fines and penalties

If you run a pet shop without a licence, or break the terms of your licence, you could be fined up to £500 and/or imprisoned for up to three months.

If found guilty your licence may be cancelled and you may be disqualified from keeping a pet shop for such length of time as the Court thinks fit.

Legislation and guidance

Licenses for pet shops may be issued provided the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following Acts:

Exotic Pets - Reducing the Risk of Human Infection [PDF, 2MB]

Tacit Consent

This means that if we have not dealt with your application within a specified time then your application is deemed to have been granted or approved. Tacit consent will not apply in relation to any applications submitted under the Pet Animals Act 1951, as there is an overriding public interest on the grounds of animal safety.

Privacy Notice

We are under a duty to protect the public funds it administers so we reserve the right to use any information supplied for the prevention and detection of fraud and crime. We may also share this information for the same purpose with other organisations that handle public funds or any enforcement agencies involved in the investigation and detection of crime. We may also share information with other Council services where it is appropriate to do so.

If you do not receive a response from us within 14 days please contact us to make sure we have received your application and it is being dealt with.