Pet shop

New legislation coming into force on 1 October 2018 will change the way licences are issued and administered. Learn more about this legislation change.

The sale of animals (other than invertebrates) as pets requires a licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951. Pet shops are inspected by authorised council officers and/or veterinary surgeons. Conditions are attached to licences controlling the standards of accommodation and animal welfare. Licences run for a maximum of one year but will always expire on 31 December.

People in control of a pet shop must hold a recognised qualification in pet shop management. Pets must not be sold in the street or to children under 12 years, and the sale of animals at bird or reptile fairs is normally illegal.

Categories of animals which a pet shop may be licensed to keep:

  • dogs and cats (puppies and litters)
  • smaller domesticated mammals, eg rabbits, cavies, gerbils, hamsters, rats, mice
  • larger domesticated mammals, eg goats, pot bellied pigs
  • primates, eg marmosets
  • other mammals
  • parrots, parakeets and macaws
  • other birds
  • reptiles
  • amphibians
  • fish
  • other species

Licence application forms


Return your application form(s) to:

Animal Welfare, Brighton & Hove City Council, 2nd Floor Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton, BN1 1JP

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