Licence summary

You need a licence from us if you keep a dog breeding establishment. You are considered to be keeping a breeding establishment if:

  • you breed dogs for sale

  • you have a bitch or bitches who give(s) birth to five or more litters in any 12-month period.

A dog breeding licence needs to be renewed every year.

Before you apply for a licence you must ensure you have the necessary planning permission.

What happens if I don't apply for a licence?

You can be fined up to £2,500 if you keep a dog breeding establishment without a licence or do not comply with the conditions of the licence.

Are there any restrictions?

You will not be granted a licence if you have been disqualified from any of the following:

  • keeping a breeding establishment

  • keeping a pet shop

  • having custody of animals

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment.

How do I apply?

Please contact us for an application form.

Once we have received your application we will arrange for a veterinary surgeon/practitioner to inspect your premises. If they are satisfactory, we will let you know of any conditions that will be attached to your licence before it is issued.

If you are renewing your licence, an authorised council officer will visit your premises and let you know of any conditions that will be attached to your licence before it is issued.


The licence cost is made up of two parts:

  • the cost to council (£141.25)

  • the cost of the veterinary surgeon/practitioner (this will vary depending on the work involved).

Where extra visits are required to investigate if you are meeting the conditions of the licence, a further charge of £97 per additional officer/visit plus any third party costs (such as vets’ fees) may be payable when you renew your licence.

Does tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that you obtain a licence before keeping a dog breeding establishment. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period.

Appeals and complaints

If you are refused a licence or want to appeal against a licence condition, you can appeal to the local Magistrates’ court.

Consumer complaint

We advise that consumer complaints are first made to the trader, preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that does not work, further advice is available from Citizens Advice.

For complaints such as noise pollution or one licence holder complaining about another, please contact us for advice.