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Downloadable guidance (.pdf, 190kb) for applicants on the legal requirements and licence conditions
The legislation does not require a register of all breeding establishment licences to be kept. If you would like to know if a premises is licensed as a breeding establishment please contact the Trading Standards & Licensing Section.
No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority.
A breeding establishment is defined as "A person keeps a breeding establishment for dogs at any premises if he/she carries on at those premises a business of breeding dogs for sale" 'Premises' includes a private dwelling.
A person whose bitches give birth to five or more litters in any 12 month period is presumed to be carrying on a dog breeding business and would normally have to be licensed. Bitches count towards the qualifying total if they are kept at any time during the 12 month period by the applicant/licence holder at the premises at which he/she is carrying on the business of breeding dogs for sale; or if they are kept at those premises by any of his/her relatives.
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 (Amendment) Act 1954.
- The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934.
Receipt of your completed application form and the appropriate fee will be confirmed in writing, and an inspection of the premises will be arranged by an Officer from the Council's Business Compliance Section who will be accompanied at this inspection by a veterinary surgeon or practitioner approved by the Council.
Before granting a licence we must then consider a report from the veterinary surgeon or practitioner detailing whether the premises are suitable for a breeding establishment.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the Trading Standards & Licensing Section within a reasonable period, please contact us.
Standard Conditions attached to licences to keep a breeding establishment for dogs (with guidance)
Record Keeping: It is a condition of all licences that accurate records in a form prescribed by regulations are kept at a premises and are made available for inspection by an authorised officer. A record must be kept for each breeding bitch. The regulations have prescribed a form that is to be used and this can be downloaded here (.pdf, 24kb)
Change of Cirumstances
Please contact the Trading Standards & Licensing Section to discuss any change of circumstances in respect of an existing licence.
Failed Application / Licence Holder Redress
Please contact the Trading Standards & Licensing Section in the first instance.
If you wish to complain about the welfare of the animals, nuisance caused by a dog breeding establishment etc. or are one licence holder wishing to complain about another please contact the Business Compliance Section using the details below.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Consumer Service (External Link) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre ' '.
Other Useful Legislation
* This page was last reviewed on 21 June 2012 *