Establishments used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.
To make an online request for information.
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.
(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.
There is an application fee which must be paid at the time the application is made.
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.
Your Right of Appeal
Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any condition to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Court and the Courts may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.
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 defendant's 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.
Copies of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and other legislation mentioned in this information leaflet can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
A copy of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 can be viewed at the Council Offices where you may also obtain a copy of the Council's standard licence conditions, an application form and further help and advice.
What is a breeding establishment?
A dog breeding establishment is any premise where the business of breeding dogs for sale is carried out or where 5 or more litters are born within a 12 month period. Hence:-
- Anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs (trading) needs to be licensed.
- Anyone producing 5 litters or more in a 12 month period must be licensed regardless of whether they are in the business of breeding and selling dogs.
How much does a licence cost?
There is an application fee which must be paid at the time the application is made. The fee is £58 with an additional cost for a veterinary inspection which is charged at cost.
My licence application has been refused. Can I appeal?
Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any condition to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates' Court and the Courts may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.
Forms and Guidance
Please be aware that the licensing conditions have been revised to reflect changes in legislation and best practice. The new conditions came into force on 1 January 2015.
Dog Breeding Establishment Application Form (pdf 18kb)
Dog Breeding Establishment Conditions (pdf 18kb)