Animal licences

Pet shops

You will need a pet shop licence if you have a business selling animals as pets. This excludes keeping or selling pedigree animals bred privately, or the offspring of animals kept as pets.

Selling animals as pets as a business is prohibited in any part of a street, in a public place, or at a stall or barrow in a market.

To obtain a licence, you must comply in full with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

You must take care of the animals by:

  • keeping them in suitable accommodation
  • supplying them with adequate food, drink, and bedding material
  • adequately exercising and visiting them regularly
  • taking precautions to prevent the spread of infectious or contagious diseases
  • ensuring appropriate steps will be taken in case of fire or other emergency


New licence: £204.80

Renewal licence: £204.80

Licences are issued annually.

How to apply

You can apply online for a pet shop licence (link opens in new window)

What happens next?

After you submit your application, we will contact you within 5 working days.

Your application will be validated and checks will be carried out to ensure your premises meet the required standards. Your licence will be issued within 20 working days.

A pet shop licence will not be issued if you have been disqualified under any of the following Acts:

Payments may be made by telephone (0300 300 8136) or cheque made payable to Central Bedfordshire Council, or you may pay online (link opens in new window).

The validation checklist is:

  • application and payment received
  • visit by officer from Public Protection
  • approval

Tacit consent

Your licence will be issued within 20 working days of payment.

Tacit consent does not apply for this licence. You must not assume that your licence is granted if you have not heard from us.

Offences and penalties

The following offences and penalties apply to the pet shops:

  • any person found guilty of keeping a pet shop without a licence may be subject to a fine of up to £500, 3 months imprisonment, or both
  • any person found guilty of failing to comply with their licence conditions may be subject to a fine up to £500, 3 months imprisonment, or both
  • any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector, or authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner in the exercising of their powers of entry may be fined up to £500

If found guilty under this Act, the licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping a pet shop for such length of time as the court thinks fit.

Appeals and complaints

If you have been refused a licence or have a complaint about the issue of the licence, you can write to:

The Service Manager
Public Protection
Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Monks Walk
SG17 5TQ

Alternatively, you can email the Service Manager at

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