A pet shop is a building where animals are sold as pets and this includes your own home. You will also need a licence if you are selling pet animals over the internet.
You cannot sell animals as pets in public places, for example from a market stall.
However you do not need a licence to sell:
- Pedigree animals that you have bred. Note if you breed dogs and produce more than three litters per year you will need a Breeding Establishment Licence
- Animals that are the offspring of your own pet
Applicants for a pet shop licence must not be disqualified from keeping a pet shop.
Animal welfare conditions will be attached to the licence.
- Animals will be kept in accommodation that is suitable regarding size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, and cleanliness
- Animals will be supplied with adequate food, drink, and bedding material
- Animals will be adequately exercised and visited regularly
- Precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infections
- Plans in place in case of fire or other emergency
- Age of the mammals so they are not sold when they are too young
The sale of certain species in pet shops is of particular concern. These include dogs, cats and exotic (non-domesticated) mammals such as meerkats and primates. Concerns stem from the inability to provide for the welfare needs of these animals in a typical pet shop environment, for example, the ability to adequately and appropriately socialise puppies and kittens, as well as, in the case of exotics, the suitability of these species to be sold as pets to members of the public. Therefore the sale of these animals is not permitted in pet shops licensed by Southampton.
Licences expire on December 31 and must be renewed each year before the due date.
How to apply
Please read the Guidance notes for conditions for selling animals to ensure you can comply with the licence conditions.
If you wish to apply for a licence please complete the application form.
Apply for a Pet Shop licence
The fee is £250.00, which you must submit with your application form.
Note: This fee is non-refundable
Paying the licence fee
You can make a payment by cheque. Please make your cheque payable to 'Southampton City Council' and send, with your completed application form, to
Animal Welfare Officer
Southampton City Council
If you are unable to pay by cheque please email email@example.com
Change of circumstance
You must notify us of any change of circumstances. This includes the surrendering of your licence or any other material change to the licence or how you operate. There is a fee due in respect of any change that requires a new licence to be issued.
How long will my application take to process?
We aim to determine applications within 28 days from receipt of a completed application, including payment. If we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not automatically be granted due to animal welfare implications.
There is no legal requirement to keep a register. If you want to know if a premises is licenced please contact us.
Will Tacit Consent apply?
You cannot start trading until your application has been processed by Southampton City Council and you have received your licence. 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 28 days please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read the Guidance notes for conditions for selling animals as pets which provide more information.