Pet Shops

Licence Summary

To run a business selling pet animals in Darlington you need a licence from Darlington Borough Council. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet. A pet shop can be any premises including a private dwelling from which animals are sold. The term animal includes any vertebrate. Registered breeders selling off excess stock are exempt from this legislation.

Eligibility Criteria

Where a person is for the time being disqualified from keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951 or is disqualified under section 28F(1) and (2) of the Animal Health Act 1981, or section 40(1) and (2) of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, Darlington Borough Council shall not grant a licence to keep a pet shop to that person.

Regulation Summary

Application Process

We aim to notify applicants that their application has been received within 3 working days - online applicants will be notified by email. Darlington Borough Council 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.

In order that Darlington Borough Council can be satisfied that the above are complied with, it will arrange for an Environmental Health Officer to carry out an inspection of the premises.


To apply for a licence a fee of £120 is payable.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us within 28 days.

How to Apply

We aim to acknowledge your application form within three working days. If you have applied online we will acknowledge your application by email.

You have the option of applying online or by downloading an application form.

Online Application

Apply for a licence to keep a pet shop [external link]

Download an Application Form

If you would prefer to download an application form, please download the document below and return it to us using the contact details at the bottom of the page.

Pet shop licence application form [word document]

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance using the contact details below.

Any person who is refused a licence can appeal to the local magistrates court [external link] covering the area the premises is located. A court may give directions on the issue of a licence.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance using the contact details below.

Any licence holder who objects to a condition attached to a licence may appeal to the local magistrates court covering the area the premises is located. A court may give directions on the issue of a condition.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of 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 [external link] will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre [external link].

Trade Associations

Pet Care Trust (PCT) [external link]