Apply for an animal licence

You need different licences for breeding, keeping, training, hiring out and selling animals.

Licence to sell animals as pets

A licence is required if you are selling animals as pets (or with a view to their being later resold as pets) as part of a business. This does not include selling animals in the course of an aquacultural production business authorised under Regulation 5(1) of the Aquatic Animal Health (England and Wales) Regulations 2009, or the activity that falls within the definition of breeding dogs.

Inspections and star ratings

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

  • a specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare (including the animal's mental and physical health, feeding, and knowledge of environmental enrichment)
  • comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities
  • an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures, which are reviewed regularly
  • training procedures in place to make sure that staff know what is expected of them
  • clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

The premises itself will also be assessed against the national standards relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

Based on the information, we will assess the risk posed by the business and award a star rating. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, while premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars.

A premises with a lower star rating is not necessarily a premises to avoid as there are other factors that have to be considered, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating. New businesses will be assessed as slightly higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered. If you have any concerns, please contact Animal Welfare before applying for a licence.

Costs for this service

There is an application fee of £393, or £315 for the renewal of an existing licence, plus a licence fee of £290 on successful grant.

What you need to know...

You will need a licence if you are selling animals as pets, even from your own home. You will not need a licence if you are selling pedigree animals that you have bred, or animals that are offspring of your own pet.

Next steps

Please download and complete the application form below:

Apply for a licence to sell animals as pets (PDF, 320KB)

Return it with a cheque payable to 'London Borough of Lambeth' and send it to Animal Welfare Services. You can also contact us if you need more information or have any concerns.