On the 1 October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018 No. 486) came into force. These regulations replace a number of pieces of legislation and provide for a new single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities. One of these activities is the selling of animals as pets. 

How to apply

To apply for a licence to sell animals as pets, applicants must complete and submit an application form accompanied by the appropriate fee.

An Animal Health Officer from the Council will visit the premises to ensure that it complies with the above. In certain circumstances a veterinary inspection may also be undertaken.

Requests for application forms can be made by emailing: tradingstandards@newcastle.gov.uk or phoning 0191 2116121.

Application Form (pdf, 428 kb)

The Licence will be issued subject to compliance with the licence conditions and payment of the licence fee.

There is an application fee payable upon application and subject to an annual renewal. However, should we require the expertise of an animal specialist this may incur further costs at your expense before a licence is issued.

Risk assessment

Before we can approve your licence, we will risk assess the premises, and how the animals are looked after. To pass this assessment, applicants must pass the conditions as listed in the legislation.

If the applicant meet these conditions, on the Licence will be a star rating (between one and five stars) for your business. The star rating received determines the length of time the Licence is for (between one and three years). 

What conditions will be attached to a licence?

After gaining a licence you will need to follow a set of conditions that are set out on the Application Form (pdf, 428 kb). that relate to record keeping, permitted number of animals and densities, disease prevention and control and accommodation. Further Guidance (pdf, 515 kb) from DEFRA is also available.

What happens next?

When we receive the application, we will arrange to risk assess the home or premises. After this assessment, if the application is successful we will provide you with a Licence, which will specify the star rating and how long the Licence is for. If the application is unsuccessful, we will include reasons in the letter.  

Planning requirements

Your application for a licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity. You should contact the planning authority via planning.control@newcastle.gov.uk or phone 0191 2115654 to discuss whether permission will be needed. Your application for a licence will not be processed until the planning issue has been decided.

Offences and penalties

There are a number of animal related convictions which will not allow a person to make an application for a licence to sell animals as pets. These are listed within Schedule 8 of the Regulations.

If you are unhappy with our decision

If the applicant doesent agree with the decision, they can appeal. 

If you do not agree with your star rating

If the applicant does not agree with the star rating provided, contact us to appeal this.

Request a re-score

If an applicant gets less than five stars, we will let you know what you can do to increase your star rating. An increased star rating could increase the length of time that the Licence is for. 

If the applicant completes these actions, we can return to the home or premises to repeat the risk assessment. This costs £100. Contact us to arrange.

If the application is rejected

If we do not issue a Licence, and the applicant wishes to appeal this decision, contact the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) to launch an appeal.      

Powers of entry

The City of Newcastle may authorise competent persons to enter premises either licensed under the act or specified in an application for a licence, at all reasonable times, producing if required their authority, and the authorised officers may inspect these premises and an animal or animals in them.

How long will it take to process my application?

If we have not contacted you to make arrangements to complete an inspection within 14 days of your application, please contact us to check that your application was correctly made and received.  The Council will endeavour to issue a licence within a period of 28 days, however if we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted due to animal welfare implications.

Current licences

1. Robert & Phillips Pet Supplies, Unit 3, 162 Brinkburn Street, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2AR
2. Pets at Home, Unit 8 Newcastle Shopping Centre, Fossway, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2UJ
3. Pets at Home, Unit 2 Kingston Retail Park, Brunton Lane, Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 2ES
4. Jollyes, Unit 2 West Denton Retail Park, West Denton Way, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 2NF
5. Reptile Realm & Aquatics, 3 Two Ball Lonnen, Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 9RN.
6. Maidenhead Aquatics, Gosforth Garden Centre, Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 5EP
7. For Paws, 15-17 Church Road, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1TX
8. Dragons Den Exotics, 65-67 Stephenson Road, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7SA


Trading Standards Service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH.
Email: tradingstandards@newcastle.gov.uk
Phone: 0191 2116121

Page last updated: 
11 April 2019
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