To run a business selling pet animals you need a licence from us. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet. Please be aware that a licence may last for a maximum of one year only and must expire on 31st December in the year of issue.
Applicants for a pet shop licence must not be disqualified from keeping a pet shop.
An application fee should be paid at the time of your application and you will also be required to pay all veterinary inspection fees before the licence is issued. You will need to comply with any conditions attached to the licence once issued.
Model Licence Conditions and Guidance
The local authorities in the Northants Licensing Partnership have all adopted the CIEH Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Pet Vending Licensing
Applicants should familiarise themselves with these model conditions as establishments requiring a licence will be expected to be compliant with all relevant conditions, these will be subject to local specifications as determined by your local authority inspector.
Application Evaluation Process
We will have regard to the following points 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.
Does tacit consent apply if I haven't heard anything after 28 days?
No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.
Apply by Post (online applications not permitted)
Tell us about a change to your existing pet shop Email email@example.com
Return to Business Link here
Failed Application Redress
Please contact us in the first instance.
Any person who is refused a licence can appeal to the Magistrates court. Please see below for address:
Northampton Magistrates Court
Tel: 01604 497000
A court may give directions on the issue of a licence.
Licence Holder Redress
Please contact us in the first instance.
Any licence holder who objects to a condition attached to a licence may appeal to the local Magistrates court who may also give directions on the issue of a condition. Please see above for address.
If you are not satisfied with the service you should complain to the person who first dealt with the matter. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive at this stage you should then complain to the Head of Environmental Services giving details of your complaint.
You can take the complaint a step further by writing to the Executive Director who will arrange for it to be investigated. You should receive a reply within 10 days, but if the matter is complex, or other organisations need to be contacted, it may take longer. But we will still let you know what action is being taken. You should give all the details of your complaint and say what you have done to try to get it put right.
If you are still not happy after using our own complaints procedure you can complain to the Local government Ombudsman. A free booklet is available from all council offices.
Example Conditions attached to a Licence
1. Animals shall at all times be kept in accommodation that is adequate in construction, size, amenities and position in the premises.
2 Where animals are kept in cages, hutches, boxes or other receptacles which are placed on top of other cages, hutches, boxes or other receptacles, effective means should be provided for preventing water, food or other droppings falling onto, or contaminating the animals' food or other surroundings which are underneath.
3. Animals shall be adequately supplied with suitable food and drink and shall be visited at suitable intervals. All accommodation shall be cleaned daily or as often as necessary.
4. No mammal shall be sold unweaned or, if weaned, at an age at which it should not have been weaned.
5. No animal shall be displayed in a cage, hutch, box or other receptacle in such a position that it can be interfered with by other animals or unauthorised persons.
6 Animals shall not be displayed outside the premises during unsuitable weather.
7 All excreta and soiled bedding shall be stored in suitably covered metal or other impervious containers until removed from the premises as soon as is practicable and disposed of to the satisfaction of the local authority. All refuse containers shall be maintained in a clean condition.
8. All necessary precautions shall be taken to prevent the introduction or harbourage of rodents, insects and any other pests to the premises.
9 All animal foods shall be stored in suitable covered metal or other impervious closed containers so that the quality of the food can be preserved. These containers should be of such design as to allow easy cleaning.
10 Animals shall not be handed to customers in unsuitable containers.
11. The licensee shall ensure that a responsible person shall at all times be in, or within, reasonable distance from the premises for the purpose of giving warning and taking other necessary steps in the event of fire or other emergency. In case of absence of the responsible resident, the licensee shall appoint a responsible person residing within a reasonable distance of the premises to have custody of a duplicate key. The name, address and telephone number of such person shall be displayed in legible characters on the front door or window of the premises and shall be notified to the local fire brigade and police.
12 Animals and stock shall not be placed or kept in or outside the shop so as to obstruct entrance to or exit from the shop in the case of fire or other emergency.
13. Fire fighting equipment, including extinguishers, shall be provided as approved by the Chief Fire Officer and shall be sited as so directed by him. The licensee shall ensure that the fire appliances remain accessible and maintained in a good condition.
14 No animal which is suffering from, or could reasonably be suspected of having come into contact with any other animal suffering from any infectious or contagious disease or which is infested with parasites shall be brought into or kept on the premises unless effectively isolated.
15. The maximum number and types of animals permitted to be kept on the premises to which the licence refers are as set out above and shall not be exceeded.
16. The numbers of animals which may be kept on the premises must be displayed on the premises.
17. Exhibition animals kept in the shop should be considered as requiring proper accommodation and any animals not for sale should have a note stating that fact.
18. No animals shall be directly imported except by licensees who have satisfied the local authority as to their ability to quarantine or handle consignments of animals under suitable conditions.
19. A register of animals shall be kept by the proprietor of the pet shop which must be produced on demand by the authorised inspector.
20 Pet shops selling animals on the Schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act should ascertain that the buyer is licensed or duly authorised to keep such animals.
21. All new licence holders shall, within 12 months of obtaining a first licence, obtain a suitable qualification in Pet Care, e.g. The City and Guilds Certificate in Pet Shop Management.
- What are Environmental Health Licences?
- Animal Boarding Establishments
- Boat Licensing (East Northants only)
- Camping and Caravan Sites / Mobile Homes Licence
- Dangerous Wild Animals
- Environmental Permitting
- Dog Breeding
- House to House Collections
- Pet Shops (you are here)
- Riding Establishment Licence
- Scrap Metal Dealer Licence
- Sex Establishments
- Street Collections
- Acupuncture,Tattooists, Piercing and Electrolysis
- Zoo Licensing
- Application by Post Forms
- Animal Licensing
- Other Licences
- Street Traders
- Caravan and Camping Sites Guidance
- Mobile Homes Guidance