Animal breeding licence
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No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority. A breeding establishment means a place that is in the business of breeding and selling dogs or anyone producing five (5) or more litters from their dogs in a 12 month period, whether they are in the business of breeding and selling dogs or not.
Licensing of breeding establishments
Applications for a licence must be made to the Local Authority, and a licence may be issued if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following Acts.
- The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.
- The Pet Animals Act 1951.
- The Protection of Animals Act 1911 as amended 1921, 1927, 1934, 1954, 1988 and 2000.
- The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934.
- Breeding of Dogs Act 1991
- Breeding and sale of Dogs (welfare) Act 1999
There is an application fee which must be paid at the time the application is made.
Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on the 31 December of the year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue as a dog breeding establishment.
Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Council's Licensing Inspector:
- that the dogs will at all times be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness.
- that the dogs will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals.
- that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread amongst the dogs of infectious or contagious diseases, including the provision of isolation facilities.
- that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable and sufficient fire-fighting equipment.
That all appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the dogs will be provided with suitable food drink and bedding material and adequately exercised when being transported to or from the breeding establishment.
A licence may be refused or withheld on other grounds if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the breeding of dogs.
Each licence is subject to standard conditions that are imposed on all dog breeding establishments licensed by the Council.
In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.
Offences and penalties
The following offences apply to the breeding of dogs.
- anybody found guilty of keeping a dog breeding establishment without a licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,500;
- anybody found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of their licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,500;
- anybody found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector or authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner in the exercising of their powers may be fined up to a maximum of £1,000.
If found guilty under this Act, the defendants licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping a dog breeding establishment for such length of time as the Court thinks fit.
For further information please see
- Dog breeding licence (England, Scotland and Wales) (gov.uk website)
- The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (legislation website)
- Kennel Club (information on breeding)