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Dog breeding

No person may keep a breeding establishment for dogs without first obtaining a licence from the local authority.

A breeding establishment means any premises where more than two bitches are kept for the purposes of breeding for sale.

Applications for a licence must be made to the local authority, and a licence may be issued (subject to a satisfactory inspection by the Environmental Health Section) if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following acts:

a) The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.
b) The Pet Animals Act 1951.
c) The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954.
d) The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934.

New Regulations 2018

On 1 October 2018, new regulations came into force. These regulations, known as the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, set out the conditions that need to be met before a licence can be issued.

DEFRA have published guidance notes which set out the conditions and how they can be met. While these notes have been provided to assist inspectors, they are also useful for business owners.

All premises are risk-rated following an inspection and a star rating of 1 to 5 is awarded. Only those businesses that obtain a higher standard are awarded a 4 or 5-star rating. The star rating determines the period of the licence:

  • 1 to 2 stars: 1-year licence
  • 3 to 4 stars: 2-year licence
  • 5 stars: 3-year licence

For further information and to see copies of the guidance notes, visit the Canine & Feline Sector Group.

Application and Fees

To request an application form, please email Environmental Health or call 01744 676338.

There is an application fee that must be paid at the time the application is made.

The annual fee is £275.50 plus veterinary fees. 

Contact us

Tel: 01744 676338
Email: Environmental Health