Shropshire Council

Dog breeding licence

Establishments used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and 1991 and the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.

Our duties

Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to our licensing inspector that:

  • the dogs will at all times be kept in accommodation that is suitable with regard to construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 us.

In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.

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 court may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.

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, 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.

Am I eligible to apply for a dog breeding licence?

You must not have been previously convicted 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.

What is it for?

To permit the running of a dog breeding business.

Who needs one?

No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from us. A dog breeding licence is required for anyone breeding four or more litters in a year. Hobby breeders would not be expected to fall within that definition, even if they sold some puppies, provided that the new section 4A(3) of the 1973 Act does not apply to them.

How much will it cost?

There is a fee for issuing this document, which is taken when you apply.

What will I need before I apply?

  • A completed application form
  • Fee
  • Any relevant planning permission documentation
  • Plans of premises
  • See application form for any additional requirements

Do I need to do anything else?

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.

Apply now

Download the form, complete it on your home computer, and email it to

Download the form

Download the form, print it out, fill it in and post your application along with the fee if applicable to:

The Licensing Team, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND

Download the form