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What Licence Do I Need To Become A Dog Breeder?

The Breeding and Sale of Dogs Welfare Act was established in 1999 to help regulate the dog breeding industry and ensure that puppy mills and irresponsible dog breeders couldn’t make a profit on the back of a booming industry. Since 2015, any breeder producing three or more litters per year now requires a licence. Although this might seem like an additional, unnecessary cost for the established breeder, the licences have helped to deter the online puppy trade. This can only be a good thing for responsible dog breeders – you’d be barking not to get on board!

What dog breeding licence do I need?

Every council in the UK will have their own version of the same licence. Some call it the ‘Dog breeding establishment’ licence, while others refer to a ‘dog breeding licence’. In addition to the government-granted licence, there are also independent and optional accreditations you can achieve, such as The Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme.

How do I apply for a dog breeding licence?

Here in Manchester, the government’s dog breeding establishment licence costs £138. The process involves filling in an application form and then passing a site inspection carried out by an approved officer and a vet. Even if you are breeding dogs from your home, you will still need a dog breeder’s licence.

What do I need to know to pass?

The inspection criteria are based on the CIEH Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Dog Breeding Establishments. This is a 49-page document that covers everything from the health and welfare of your pets to record keeping, such as your dog microchip registration numbers. The document outlines every step you will need to take to ensure you pass the inspection. 

Once you’ve passed the initial inspection, you will have to renew it every year, and may also have unannounced inspections throughout the year to ensure you are upholding your standards.