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Home > Business > Licensing > Dog breeding establishments

Dog breeding establishments

Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 & Breeding of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999

Under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, those running a dog breeding establishment must obtain a licence which has a number of conditions to ensure that high standards of animal welfare are maintained.

The definition of a breeding establishment is "any place where a person carries on a business of breeding dogs for sale".

It is widely believed that owners who breed less than 5 litters in a 12 month period do not require a licence. This assumption is incorrect and in fact a dog breeder must be licensed if he /she is in the business of breeding and selling dogs (trading), regardless of the number of litters produced in a 12 month period. This definition also applies to those who class themselves as 'hobby' breeders where the dogs are sold. The only exemption to the requirement to obtain a licence is if the dogs are given away for free which is seldom the case.

Licencing conditions

Non-domestic dog breeders conditions 

Domestic dog breeders conditions 

Who can apply?

Any fit and proper person who is not disqualified from keeping animals may apply.

A licence cannot be granted to persons who are disqualified from keeping a breeding establishment for dogs, or from keeping a pet shop, or from keeping animals or from keeping a boarding establishment for animals.

Is planning permission required?

We recommend that you discuss your proposals with Planning Services to determine whether a planning application is needed.

How to apply

You can apply and pay for a Licence using the form below.

Dog Breeding application form

How much does a licence cost?

Please see current Fees and Charges


First time licences must be inspected by the Council and a vet.

The Council is responsible for making sure that all dog breeders carry on their business in accordance with their licence. If you wish to start a breeding business, you should contact the Food and Safety Team who will offer advice on the welfare of the animals and the standards of the buildings where they will be kept.

How long does a licence last?

This Licence is valid for one year.

What can I do if my licence application is refused?

You can apply to the magistrates Court if your application is refused.

Public Register

Babergh Animal Establishments 

Mid Suffolk Animal Establishments