Definition of a dog breeding establishment
A dog breeding establishment is one or more premises, within the same district council area, operated by the same person from which that person keeps 3 or more breeding bitches; and also either
- breeds three or more litters of puppies in any 12 month period; or
- advertises three or more litters of puppies for sale in any 12 month period; or
- supplies three or more litters of puppies in any 12 month period; or
- advertises a business of breeding or selling of puppies.
Establishments that do not require a licence
Hobby breeders (that is, people who keep only 1 or 2 breeding bitches) do not require a licence to keep a dog breeding establishment. Hunt clubs and charities are also not required to obtain a licence to keep a breeding establishment.
Applications and evaluation
When an application is submitted to a Council, it must be accompanied by the relevant fee. The Council carry out an inspection, and will only grant a licence if it is satisfied that the licence conditions are met. Licence conditions relate to matters such as accommodation and environment; whelping facilities; diet; normal behaviour; socialisation; enrichment and enhancement; health; mating; change of ownership of a puppy; identification of breeding bitches and other dogs; identification of puppies; and record keeping requirements.
Fees are dependent on the number of bitches kept:
- where 10 or less bitches are kept, £150
- where 11 to 25 bitches are kept, £200
- where 26 to 50 bitches are kept, £250
- where 51 to 100 bitches are kept, £300
- where 101 to 200 bitches are kept, £350
- where more than 200 bitches are kept, £350 plus an amount of £50 for every additional 100 bitches.
It is an offence to operate a dog breeding establishment without a licence. It is also an offence to contravene any condition of a licence to keep a dog breeding establishment. The penalty for these offences is a fine not exceeding level £5,000, and/or, imprisonment for a period of up to 6 months.