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Pet Shop & Pet Vending

A Pet Shop is defined as any premises (including a private house) which is used to carry on a business of selling animals as pets.

To run a business of selling pet animals, which includes all commercial selling of pet animals such as pet shops and businesses selling pet animals online, an Animal Welfare Licence will be required.  The number and species of animals that may be offered for sale will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.

This webpage should be read in conjunction with the Council's Animal Welfare Overview webpage:

Lucy's Law

Lucy's Law is a Regulation which limits the sale of puppies and kittens as pets in England. The law came into effect in April 2020 - licensed commercial traders are no longer allowed to sell kittens or puppies as pets if they are less than six months old and they had not been bred by the seller.

Further information, regarding Lucy's Law, can be found at this link.

Eligibility Criteria

Please refer to the Animal Welfare Overview webpage for information:

Application Process

Applicants must complete a licence application form.  The application form must be accompanied with the required documentation specified on the form and the licence application fee - currently £120.00.  Details of how to pay the fee can be found on the application form.  The licence applicant must satisfy the nationally set licence conditions; guidance on these conditions is set out in the DEFRA guidance notes.

The licence application form and a guidance note can be found at the bottom on this page. 

If more than one licensable animal activity is being carried on, applicants must complete an application form for each of the licensable activities. For example, if they operate a business selling animals as pets and breeding dogs for sale they would need to complete an application form for selling animals as pets and an application form for breeding/selling dogs.  Provided that the applications are made at the same time there will be only one application fee payable - currently £120.00.

Application Evaluation Process

Once the application is received by the Council it will be forwarded to an appropriate officer to inspect the premises.  The premises, facilities and management will be inspected to ensure they comply with the current selling animals as pets licence conditions.

Applications are then either approved with licence conditions or refused.

The following criteria (and other relevant matters) will be considered when the application is being evaluated:

  • That the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times. The accommodation must be suitable for the species and numbers being housed in it, it should minimise stress from other animals and the public.  Cleanliness, temperature control, lighting, ventilation, aeration, filtration will also be evaluated.
  • That suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly.
  • That steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place.
  • That adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies.

Full details of the conditions that must be satisfied can be found in the DEFRA guidance documents.

Tacit Consent

We normally aim to have applications determined within 10 weeks of receipt of a valid and complete application.  However, if we have been unable to determine an application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted due to animal welfare implications and therefore tacit consent does not apply.  This means that applicants must wait for the Council to determine their application before any licensable activities can take place.

Failed Application Redress

Applicants that have their licence application refused may appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.  The appeal must be made in writing or email and within 28 days of the date of notification of refusal to grant a licence.

Star Rating - Licence Holder Redress

If an applicant is granted a licence but is unhappy with their star rating they should, in the first instance, contact the Licensing Team.  If the matter cannot be resolved the licence holder may appeal to the Council; the appeal must be made in writing and within 21 days of the original notification.

Consumer Complaint

If you have any concerns regarding a business that is selling animals as pets in the East Lindsey District please contact the Licensing Team using the contact details below:

The Licensing Team, East Lindsey District Council, Tedder Hall, Manby Park, Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 8UP


Licence Register

This Register is not currently available online but should you wish to see a copy please contact the Licensing Team using the contact details set out below:

The Licensing Team, East Lindsey District Council, Tedder Hall, Manby Park, Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 8UP


Regulations Summary

·         Animal Welfare Act 2006 

·         The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018  

·         The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 

Trade Associations