What is an animal activities licence?
To run a business selling pets you need a animal activities licence issued under the Pet Animals Act 1951. This includes all commercial selling of pets including pet shops, businesses selling animals over the internet, and selling animals from your own home.
NOTE - You can’t sell animals as pets in public places - e.g. from a market stall.
How to apply for a animal activities licence
Animal activities licence applications must be made via your local council. You can find the contact details for your local council at the Official UK Government Website.
Inspections and star ratings
All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure the applicant has the following:
- a specialist knowledge in the species that you are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare (including the animals' mental and physical health, feeding and knowledge of environmental enrichment)
- comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities
- an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly
- training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them and clear evidence of good supervision of staff
- The premises itself will also be assessed against the new national standards relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.
- Based on the information, your local council will assess the risk posed by the business and award a star rating. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars while premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars.
Based on the information, the inspector from your local council will assess the risk posed by the business and award a star rating.