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Pet Shop Licence

Any person who trades in pets, which means any vertebrate including fish, must possess a valid Pet Shop licence issued by the Council. This includes pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet.

Trade in pets is not permissible from any part of a street, or public place or at a stall or barrow in a market.  Pet shop licences must be renewed annually by the 31st December.

Eligibility Criteria

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. 

You'll need show that the animals you look after are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation, for example in regards to temperature, size, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • given adequate food and drink and they will be visited at suitable intervals
  • not sold too young
  • protected from diseases

Fines and penalties

If you run a pet shop without a licence, or break the terms of your licence, you could be fined up to £500 and/or imprisoned for up to 3 months.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from East Herts Council by the end of the target completion period.

Apply and Renew Online

You can apply for or renew a Pet Shop licence online. Applications cost £206, not including any vet charges. We aim to process your application within 42 calendar days.

Public Register

Details of licenced pet shops are available on our online Public Register.

Failed Application Appeals

If you are refused a licence, you should in the first instance discuss this with the inspecting officer who will explain why you have not been successful and what works are needed in order to enable the Council to issue a licence.  If you are still dissatisfied with the reasons for refusal you can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

Licence Holder Redress

If you are unhappy with any of the licence conditions added to your licence, you should in the first instance discuss this with the inspecting officer who will explain why they have been added.  If you are still dissatisfied with the reasons for any conditions you can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

Consumer Complaints

Depending on the nature of the complaint, we would always advise that in the first instance contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).  If that has not worked and you are located in the UK,  Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the  UK European Consumer Centre.