Animal welfare licences

Selling animals as pets

Please note that this licence is for:

  • selling animals in a shop environment
  • selling pets commercially from a home environment
  • breeding and selling cats as a business

Before you submit your application, please ensure you have:

  • a debit / credit card to pay the relevant fee
  • a copy of your Public Liability Insurance
  • a plan of the premises
  • a copy of your Operating Procedures
  • Risk Assessments (including Fire)
  • Infection Control Procedures
  • qualifications / evidence of experience
  • training records

The inspection process

All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure the applicant has:

  • specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for
  • a clear understanding of its needs and welfare. This would include the animals' mental and physical health, feeding and knowledge of environmental enrichment.
  • can demonstrate that they have researched and followed expert guidance to carry out their role
  • comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their activities
  • an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly (these documents should be available for the Inspector to examine)
  • training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, and clear evidence of good supervision of staff
  • the premises itself will also be assessed so we can be sure the licence holder can meet the new laws relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept

Based on this information, we will assess the risk rating and award stars.

  • low-risk premises can attain up to five stars
  • premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars

The star rating will prescribe the number of inspections undertaken during the licence period. There will be a minimum of 2 inspections:

  • one announced (before granting the licence)
  • at least one unannounced, during the licensed period

The duration (1 to 3 years) of licence will be determined by the licensing inspector. This will be based off the star rating achieved.

On application you will be required to pay an application fee. This is followed by a grant fee once an inspection has been carried out and a decision made for the licence to be granted.

How much does it cost?

The total fee for this licence is £398 (£266 application fee plus £132 grant fee)


Before you apply for a licence, please ensure you have had a look at:

Apply now on MySouthend.

Contact animal licensing

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