A person who wishes to carry on the business of selling animals (or keeping animals with the intention of selling them), as pets at any premises, including a private dwelling, in the City of Newcastle must obtain a licence from the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, issued under the Pet Animals Act 1951. For more information, please visit the Defra website.

How to apply

To apply for a Pet Shop licence, applicants must complete and submit an application form accompanied by the appropriate fee.

An Animal Health Officer from the Council will visit the premises to ensure that it complies with the above. In certain circumstances a veterinary inspection may also be undertaken.

Requests for application forms can be made by emailing: tradingstandards@newcastle.gov.uk or phoning 0191 2116121.

Pet Shop Application Form (pdf, 282 kb)

The Licence will be issued subject to compliance with the licence conditions and payment of the licence fee.

There is an application fee payable upon application and subject to annual renewal. However, should we require the expertise of an animal specialist this may incur further costs at your expense before a licence is issued.

How long does the licence last?

A licence shall according to the applicants requirements relate to the year in which it is granted or to the next following year. A licence year operates from 1 January to the 31 December; however you can apply at any time during that period. Licence holders will receive a written reminder from the city of Newcastle upon Tyne prior to the expiry of their licence. Licences must be renewed prior to their expiry if the premises are to continue as a pet shop.

What conditions will be attached to a licence?

After gaining a licence you will need to follow a set of conditions that relate to record keeping, permitted number of animals and densities, disease prevention and control and accommodation.

Please be aware that the Council can also impose additional conditions for individual premises where appropriate.

Records required to be kept

A livestock purchase and sales register must be maintained in accordance with the above conditions. The register should be available for inspection by an authorised officer of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne or an authorised Veterinary Surgeon/practitioner.

Planning requirements

Your application for a licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity. You should contact the planning authority via planning.control@newcastle.gov.uk or phone 0191 2115654 to discuss whether permission will be needed. Your application for a licence will not be processed until the planning issue has been decided.

Offences and penalties

The following offences and penalties apply to pet shops:

  • anybody found guilty of keeping a pet shop without a licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding level 2 (£500) or to three months imprisonment or both;
  • anybody found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of their licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding level 2 (£500) or to three months imprisonment or both;
  • anybody found guilty of carrying on a business of selling animals as pets in any part of a street or public place, or at a stall or barrow in a market, shall be guilty of an offence, subject to a fine not exceeding level 2 (£500) or to three months imprisonment or both;
  • anybody found guilty of selling an animal as a pet to a person whom he has reasonable cause to believe to be under the age of twelve years, shall be guilty of an offence not exceeding  level 2 (£500) or to three months imprisonment or both;
  • anybody 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 subject to a fine not exceeding level 2 (£500).

Your right to appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Court and they may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as they think proper.

Power of entry

The city of Newcastle may authorise competent persons to enter premises either licensed under the act or specified in an application for a licence, at all reasonable times, producing if required their authority, and the authorised officers may inspect these premises and an animal or animals in them.

How long will it take to process my application?

If we have not contacted you to make arrangements to complete an inspection within 14 days of your application, please contact us to check that your application was correctly made and received.  The Council will endeavour to issue a licence within a period of 28 days, however if we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted due to animal welfare implications.

Animal Welfare Report 2016

To see a copy of the full report of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee as published in November 2016 go to Report (pdf, 1.52 mb). One of the recommendations in this report is that the third party sale of dogs should be banned.    

Government Review

To see a publication highlighting the review carried out by Government into animal licensing go to Report (pdf 223 kb)

Current licences

1. Petwise. 496 Elswick Road, Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 8ED
2. Dragons Den Exotics, 65-67 Stephenson Road, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7SA
3. Pets at Home, Unit 2 Kingston Retail Park, Brunton Lane, Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 2ES
4. Gosforth Pet Supplies. 22 Wansbeck Road South, Regent Farm, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 3HQ
5. Reptile Realm & Aquatics, 3 Two Ball Lonnen, Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 9RN.
6. Aquatic & Bird Centre. 29 Denmark Street, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2XF
7. Forpaws Pet Shop. 15-17 Church Road, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1TX


Trading Standards Service, Public Safety, Regulation and Development, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH.
Email: tradingstandards@newcastle.gov.uk
Phone: 0191 2116121

Page last updated: 
25 May 2018
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