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Dog breeding licence

Changes to regulations

On Monday, 1 October 2018, new animal licensing regulations will come into force. We'll update this page with the new application form as soon as it's available.

What you need to know:

  • If you already have a dog breeding licence, you don't need to do anything as it will remain valid until the date it says on your licence. You just need to apply for a new one when it runs out.
  • If you need to apply for a licence before 1 October 2018 please use the form available on this page.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What's a breeding establishment?

A breeding establishment is any premises where more than 2 bitches are kept for the purposes of breeding for sale. Establishments used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.

No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from us.

Licensing of breeding establishments

A licence will not be issued if you are 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

Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on 31 December of the year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue as a dog breeding establishment.

Council's duties

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.

Apply for a licence

Please note: All new applications will be subject to an initial inspection by our authorised veterinary surgeon or practitioner, which has an additional cost​.

The application fee is £155.

Apply for a d​omestic dog breeding licence (156kb pdf)

​Apply for a non-d​omestic dog breeding licence (142kb pdf)

If you've been refused a licence, or want to appeal against a licence condition, you can appeal to the magistrates'​ court.

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 defendants 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.


0300 303 8871

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Public Protection Service​​
Number One Riversid​e​
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU