Pet Shops

Licence summary

To run a business selling pet animals from premises you need a licence from the local authority.

This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet.
We try to make sure that all animals are well looked after, that pets will be looked after once they are sold, that the layout of any facilities are suitable and that staff are trained.
Licences can only be issued for one year, and should be on display.
We do not licence one day bird sales because we are unable to issue one day licences, and often the facilities cannot meet the conditions for bird welfare that we would apply to pet shops.
Veterinary inspection is arranged for new premises and sometimes during the year, particularly where obvious problems are found to exist or complaints are received.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants for a pet shop licence must not be disqualified from keeping a pet shop. 

A fee, determined by the Local Authority, will be payable on application.

Regulation Summary

Read the legislation controlling sale of animals as pets

Application Evaluation Process

Local authorities must have regard to the following when considering an application for a pet shop licence:

  • That animals will be kept in suitable accommodation, for example in regards to temperature, size, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • Adequate food and drink will be provided to the animals and they will be visited at suitable intervals
  • That any mammalian animals will not be sold too young
  • That steps are taken to prevent disease spreading among the animals
  • That adequate fire and emergency provisions are in place

Conditions can be attached to a licence to ensure that the above are complied with.

See foot of page for indicative stocking densities.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from Malvern Hills District Council within a reasonable period,
please contact us:

Apply online

Apply by Post

Telephone or e-mail us to ask for an application form, or download an application form.

Send the completed form with application fee and proof of insurance to us at the Licensing, Malvern Hills District Council, The Council Offices, Avenue Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3AF

Failed Application Redress

Please contact Malvern Hills District Council in the first instance:
An applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact Malvern Hills District Council in the first instance:
A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local Magistrates' Court.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice will give you advice.

From outside the UK contact the  UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

Anyone suffering nuisance due to noise, smells or similar because of a commercial premises should contract Worcestershire Regulatory Services 01527 881395.

Or by email:

Trade Associations

Pet Care Trust (PCT)

Public Register of Pet Shop Licences

Register of Licences - Pet Shops