Pet shop licence

To run a business selling pet animals you need a licence from the local authority. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet.

Licence conditions

No person may operate a pet shop in Stevenage without first obtaining a licence from Stevenage Borough Council. That licence will have conditions attached based on the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018.

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

  • the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • the Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934.
  • the Animal Welfare Act 2006

Where a licence is granted it will expire on 31 December of the same year to and must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue as a pet shop.

Service standards

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within 4 working days.

We will determine your application within 28 days.

Relevant legislation

  • Pet Animals Acts 1951 as amended by the Pet Animals Act 1951 (Amendment) Act 1983.
  • Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Licence fees and charges

The authority will charge a fee to process your application (use the link below for current fees and charges).  The fee is the same whether you apply online or by post ( or UK Welcomes do not charge an additional fee for online applications).

Application evaluation process

We must have regard to the following when considering an application for a pet shop licence:

  • that animals will be kept in suitable accommodation, for example in regards to temperature, size, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • adequate food and drink will be provided to the animals and they will be visited at suitable intervals
  • that any mammalian animals will not be sold too young
  • that steps are taken to prevent disease spreading among the animals 
  • that adequate fire and emergency provisions are in place.

Conditions can be attached to a licence to ensure that the above are complied with.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your licence has been granted if you have not heard from us 28 days after we received your application.


Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates’ court.

Any licence holder who objects to a condition attached to a licence may appeal to the local Magistrates court.

Apply online


Application for a licence to keep a pet shop

Application to change an existing pet shop licence

Application to renew an existing pet shop licence

Stevenage Borough Council is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Application for a licence to keep a pet shop

Contact details

Environmental Health and Licensing
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House
01438 242908 / 242916