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Licence To Keep A Breeding Establishment For Dogs

If you breed dogs for commercial purposes you will require a licence issued by the Local Authority. A breeding establishment for dogs is defined as "Any premises which carries on a business of breeding dogs for sale".

Your application for a licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity. The legislation is complex and should you require further details as to whether or not you need a licence please contact us using the details below.

Regulation Summary (What the law says)

Establishments used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (as amended by the Animal Welfare Act 2006) and 1991, the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 and the Breeding of Dogs (Licensing Records) Regulations 1999.

No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority.

How much does it cost?

The licence fees normally changes annually so for  this year's fee please view the fee information.

Please note that the fee set out on the licence application form does not include the veterinary inspection costs, which will be added to the licence fee. Details of the approximate total fee will be given once the application form is submitted to the Department.

When is this licence required?

Persons who wish to breed and sell dogs regardless of the number of litters produced in a 12 month period.

Persons who breed five litters or more in a 12 month period will also need to be licensed regardless of whether they are in the business of breeding and selling dogs.

Please note that a license is not required for breeding other animals.

Eligibility criteria

A licence may be issued if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following Acts:


How can I apply?

You can apply by any of the following means:

  • Please complete the Application form for a Dog Breeding Establishment, which is available at the bottom of this page.

    Once you have completed the form, please use this link to upload the completed form and to make payment.

  • Download the application form at the bottom of this page. You can send us a completed and signed application form together with a cheque for the correct amount or by bringing it to us at the office address below.

  • Contacting us in writing, telephone or email. Please use the contact forms below to request an application form.

How long will my application take to process?

We aim to process your application as soon as possible. We will confirm for all electronic applications via email that we have received your application. Please contact us if you have any queries about the process us.

Can I start trading before receiving my licence (i.e. will tacit consent apply)?

You cannot start trading until your application is processed by the Council and you have received a licence. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 21 days, please contact us.

How long does my licence last?

The licence is valid from 1 January to the 31 December.

Renewal of a licence

If you already hold a licence and it is due for renewal we will write to you informing you that the licence is due to be renewed asking you to complete a licence renewal form and submit payment.

This can be done by completing the Application form for a Dog Breeding Establishment, which is available at the bottom of this page. Once you have completed the form, please use this link to upload the completed form and to make payment.

The onus is however, on the person operating the business to ensure that they hold a current licence.

Notify us of any changes

If you wish to simply inform us of changes in circumstance such as address, business name, opening hours etc. Please contact us using the details below. 

Is there a public register available?

The legislation does not require a public register to be kept of Breeding Establishments For Dogs. If you do not know if an Breeding Establishments For Dogs is licensed, please contact us.

How do I complain about a local business?

We will investigate complaints of poor animal welfare or conditions in a commercial business within the Borough.

If you have a general concern about the welfare of an animal, and want to complain about a business in Dudley Borough, please can use the Animal Welfare Advice and Complaints form.

Alternatively you can report the matter directly to the RSPCA.  

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.

Your Right of Appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any condition to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Court and the Courts may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.

Making a complaint

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.

Trade Associations

Further Information 

Copies of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and other legislation mentioned may be viewed or purchased from the Office of Public Sector Information.

If you would like further advice about the standards or practices within a local business please use the Animal Welfare Advice and Complaints form.

Contact Details

  • Name Environmental Safety and Health
  • Address People Directorate, 3-5 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HZ
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345