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Pet shop licence

To run a business selling pet animals in County Durham, you must first obtain a licence to do so from us.

This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses that sell animals over the internet. This need for a licence is a requirement of the Pet Animals Act 1951.

The Pet Animals Act 1951 also prohibits any person selling animals as pets in any part of a street or public place or at a stall or barrow in a market.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants for a pet shop licence must not be disqualified from operating a pet shop and ensure that their premises meets a number of conditions including the provision of suitable accommodation for animals, please see our  Icon for pdf Pet Shop Licence conditions (PDF, 440.8kb)

Planning permission may also be required, including for the selling of animals from home, and you should seek advice from our Planning service.

If you are applying for a new licence, or wish to renew a current one, you must also provide us with the following items along with the application form and fee:

  • Site plan and layout of facilities
  • A valid Public Liability Insurance certificate with a minimum £5m cover
  • Relevant training and qualification certificates

Applicable fees

The fee for a pet shop licence is £145. If you are looking to renew your current licence, the fee is £125. . Re-issue of a licence within the licence period due to material changes costs £20. Visits to check compliance will be charged at the relevant officer hourly rate in addition to the licence fee.

In addition to the application fee, some pet shops may require a veterinary inspection depending on the type of animals to be sold. You will be required to meet the cost of an inspection if necessary.

Apply online

Application process

Once you've submitted your application, we will arrange an appointment to inspect your premises.

The target period for processing a correctly completed application is 60 days from receipt. If you have applied, but have not heard from us by the end of the target completion period you have the legal right to act as though your application has been granted.

If your inspection is satisfactory and all of the conditions are met, you will be granted your licence.

A pet shop licence is valid for one year.

If you are refused a licence you can appeal to the Magistrates' Court.

Complaints and advice

If you require any further information or advice regarding your application, have concerns regarding a premises selling animals, or in the event of a complaint, please contact us.

In partnership with

  • EUGO
Contact us
Animal health
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Environment, Health and Consumer Protect
  • Durham County Council
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ
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