Dog breeding

Dog breeding establishments | District Tender Council

Anyone who breeds dogs for sale is required to hold a license issued by the local authority under the Animal Care (Licenses for Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018 (England).

The regulations provide for the inspection of the premises in which the dogs are raised and set conditions which must be observed.

Breeding bitches are included if:

  • they are kept at all times during the period of 12 months by the applicant / license holder in the premises where he carries out his activity of breeding dogs for sale
  • they are kept in these premises by one of their relatives (i.e. a parent, a grandparent, a child, a grandchild, a brother, a sister, an aunt, an uncle, a niece or nephew or someone with whom they live as a couple)
  • they are kept by them elsewhere
  • if they are kept by another person under a contract or other arrangement with them.

The “premises” include private accommodation.

You will not receive a license if you have been disqualified from any of the following:

  • keep a breeding establishment
  • run a pet store
  • have custody of animals
  • to keep an animal board

Each facility will receive a rating of 1 to 5 stars based on the company’s compliance with the license conditions set out in The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals (England) Regulations 2018. The license will be issued for a period of 1 , 2 or 3 years, depending on the number of stars obtained.

Breeding establishments can only operate once after receiving a valid license.

On the death of a license holder, the license passes to his personal representative for a period of 3 months from the day of his death and then expires.

What are the requirements for a license?

Before a license is issued, the local authority must ensure that certain “dog breeding” conditions relating to animal welfare are met. The full conditions of license are set out in the Guidance Notes on Conditions for Breeding Dogs.

It is an offense to operate a dog breeding establishment without a license, or to contravene any condition attached to a license.

It is an offense to obstruct the entry or inspection or examination of any animal found on the premises.

To make a request

Before applying for a breeding permit, it is advisable to consider the following:

Will the activity require a building permit? It is strongly recommended that you contact Planning Services to discuss this. Environmental Health will not process your license request if there are outstanding planning considerations.

Is the activity likely to generate nuisances? – the Council deals with numerous complaints about the noise of barking dogs every year.

You should consider your health and safety, anyone you employ in the business, and anyone who may be affected by your business operations. You will need to perform a health and safety risk assessment, taking into account (among others): access to wellness facilities – eg hand washing; control of substances dangerous to health, accidents and notification of injuries. Advice on health and safety can be obtained from the environmental services health and safety team.

How to register:

Complete and return the dog breeding license application form. Our current fees and charges can also be viewed on the request form.

What happens after my license application?

If a license has not already been issued to the applicant in respect of a premises, an inspection will be carried out by an authorized officer of Tendring District Council and a veterinarian. A report regarding the applicant, the premises and any other relevant matter will be reviewed prior to issuance of a permit. Subsequent inspections may be carried out by an authorized agent.

Power of entry

Local authority officials, veterinarians or practitioners authorized in writing by the local authority may, upon presentation of such authorization, enter any licensed dog breeding establishment for the purpose of carrying out an inspection.

Power to enter premises suspected of operating without a permit can be obtained by seeking a warrant from a justice of the peace.


It is an offense for the license holder to contravene a condition of the license or obstruct an authorized officer. In addition, the following also applies:

  • a license holder is only permitted to sell dogs from licensed premises and only to a member of the public, licensed pet shop or licensed Scottish breeding establishment;
  • if a dog is sold directly to a member of the public, it must be at least 8 weeks old;
  • if a dog is sold to a licensed pet shop or licensed Scottish breeding establishment, it must have an identification tag or badge that clearly displays information indicating the licensed breeding establishment in which it was born and any other information required by regulation.

Contact details:

Email: [email protected]
Environmental health (food team, health and safety)
88-90 Pier Avenue
CO15 1TN
Telephone: 01255 686767

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