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Dog breeding

The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 which amended and extended the provisions of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (90KB) and the Breeding of Dogs Act 1991, provides protection for dogs used in breeding establishments.

A person is considered to be keeping a breeding establishment for dogs if at any premises they carry on a business of breeding dogs for sale. In addition a breeder whose bitch or bitches give birth to five or more litters in a twelve month period is presumed to be carrying on a dog breeding business.

How do I apply for a licence?

To find your Local Authority and apply for a licence visit the GOV.UK website. Applicants must pay the required application fee and comply with any conditions attached to the licence. Licenses are valid from the date of issue for 1 year.

What happens once I submit my application?

The premises, facilities and management will be inspected to ensure they comply with the current dog breeding licence conditions. If you are a new applicant your inspection will be carried out by a Veterinarian.

Applications are then either approved, approved with additional licence conditions or refused.

What can I do if my licence is not issued?

If your licence has been refused or you object to a condition attached to it then you may appeal to the local Magistrates court.

The local council has the discretion to grant a licence and before doing so an inspection will be carried out and the following areas will be assessed as per the CIEH Model Licence Conditions

Record keeping

  • ​Identifying marks (tattoo/microchip, kennel club registration)
  • Date of mating
  • Details of litter
  • Sales records
  • Standard operating procedures for disease and infection control, cleaning, socialisation, health and welfare


  • Accommodation
  • Construction
  • Cleanliness and disinfection
  • Bedding
  • Exercise areas - condition and use
  • Kitchen facilities
  • First aid provision - human and animal
  • Food and water - storage and provision
  • Isolation facilities solation facilities
  • Staff training and facilities
  • Emergency procedures and fire prevention

Duties under Animal Welfare Act 2006

​You must take positive steps to ensure you care for the boarded animals properly and in particular you must provide for the five welfare needs, which are:

  • a suitable environment
  • a suitable diet
  • to be able to exhibit normal behaviour pattern
  • to be housed with, or apart, from other animals
  • to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

The City of London Animal Welfare Services Team, under contract, carries out visits for local authorities across London and the Home Counties.

Compulsory dog microchipping

​Keepers must ensure their dogs are microchipped and registered on an approved UK database:

All breeders must microchip their puppies by the age of eight weeks and before they leave to go to their new home.

Visit our microchipping of dogs page or the GOV.UK website for more information.