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Dog breeding licence

Places used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and people must have a licence from us. 

A "breeding establishment" means: any premises where bitches are kept for the purposes of breeding puppies for sale. 

Licensing of breeding establishments

Applications for a licence must be made to the Council. A licence may be issued if the person making the application is not disqualified under any of the following Acts. 

  • The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973. 
  • The Pet Animals Act 1951. 
  • The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954. 
  • he Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934. 

There is a cost which must be paid at the time the application is made. Currently the cost is £225.00.

Where a licence is granted, that licence and any licence that follows will expire on 31 December of the year the licence is for. The licence must be renewed, before that date, if the premises are to continue as a dog breeding establishment. 

Our duties

Before being granted a licence, the person applying must be able to show the our licensing inspector: 

  • That the dogs will, at all times, be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of: construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness. 
  • That the dogs will be supplied with enough suitable food, drink and bedding material, exercised properly, and (when needed) visited at suitable times. 
  • That all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread, amongst the dogs, of infectious diseases - including providing isolation facilities. 
  • That steps will be taken to protect the dogs in case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable fire-fighting equipment. 

That all appropriate steps will be taken to make sure dogs will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding material, and adequately exercised, when being taken to (or from) the breeding establishment. 

A licence may be refused, or withheld, for other reasons - if those reasons mean conditions are not suitable for the breeding of dogs. 

Each licence is subject to standard conditions that apply to all dog breeding establishments licensed by the Council. 

As well as the standard conditions, a licence may also contain special conditions that only apply to your premises. 

Your right of appeal

Any person who does not agree with a refusal to be granted a licence, or with any condition given with a licence, may appeal to the Magistrates Court.  

Offences and penalties

The following offences apply to the breeding of dogs. 

  • Anybody found guilty of keeping a dog breeding establishment, without a licence, can be fined up to £2,500. 
  • Anybody found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of their licence can be fined up to £2,500. 
  • Anybody found guilty of obstructing or delaying an inspector, or authorised veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner, in exercising their powers can be fined up to £1,000. 

If found guilty under this Act, the defendant’s licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping a dog breeding establishment for as long as the court decides. 

Further information

Copies of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and other laws mentioned in this information leaflet are available from Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 

You can see a copy of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 at the Council offices, where you can also get a copy of our standard licence conditions, an application form and further help and advice. 



Animal welfare


Tel: 024 7683 1866

Coventry City Council

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