Licence to sell animals

Licence to sell animals

If a person or business is selling animals as pets, they must have a licence in place to do so. Whether you sell animals in a shop, or from your own home, you must have a licence.

This business practice is regulated under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018. As amended in 2019 by SI 2019 No.1093.

Important News

The 2019 Regulations (SI 2019 No. 1093) (known as "Lucy's Law" see have now been implemented.

Regulation 2 amends a licence condition relating to the activity of selling animals as pets (or with a view to being resold as pets). The amendment precludes the sale of puppies and kittens bred by anyone other than the licence holder. Regulation 3 makes transitional provision for existing licences to be treated, in relation to sales made on or after 6 April 2020, as subject to a condition in the terms set out in regulation 2.

Risk Assessment

Before we can approve your licence, we will risk assess your premises, and how you look after the animals in your care. To pass this assessment, you must pass the conditions listed in the Regulations. Defra have issued Guidance (pdf 515 kb) to assist you in this process.

How to apply

To apply for a licence to sell animals as pets, applicants must complete and submit an Application Form (pdf 236 kb) accompanied by the appropriate fee of £150.00.

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.

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. 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?

The length of their Licence determined by their risk rating which takes into consideration the risk of an operator breaching any licence conditions, the impact on animal welfare of any such breaches and whether the operator is already meeting higher standards of animal welfare than is required by the Licence conditions. Licence holders will receive a written reminder prior to the expiry of their Licence.

What conditions will be attached to a licence?

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

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 or phone 0191 2787878 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

There are a number of animal related convictions which will not allow a person to make an application for a licence to sell animals as pets. These are listed within Schedule 8 of the Regulations.

If you do not agree with your star rating

If you do not agree with your star rating we give your business, contact us at to appeal this decision.

Request a re-score

If you receive less than five stars, we will let you know what you need to do to increase your star rating. An increased star rating could increase the length of time that your licence is for. 

If you complete these actions, you can ask us to return to your home or premises to repeat the risk assessment. This costs £100 - contact us at to arrange this.

If we reject your application

If we do not issue a licence, and you would wish to appeal this decision, contact the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber to launch an appeal.   

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.

Licensed Premises

Reptile Realm, 3 Two Ball Lonnen, Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 9RW.  (Rating **)
Robert and Phillips Pet Supplies, Unit 3, 162 Brinkburn Street, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2AR. (Rating **)
Maidenhead Aquatics, Gosforth Garden Centre, Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 5EP. (Rating ***)
Pets at Home, Unit 8, Newcastle Shopping Centre, Fossway, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2UJ. (Rating *****)
Pets at Home, Kingston Retail Park,  Brunton Lane, Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 3ES. (Rating *****)  
Jollyes Petfoods, Unit 2, West Denton Retail Park, West Denton Way, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 2NF. (Rating *****)
For Paws, 15-17 Church Road, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1TX. (Rating **) 
Dragons Den Exotics, 65-67 Stephenson Road, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7SA. (Rating ***)


Trading Standards service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Phone: (0191) 2116102. Email:   

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