Dog Breeding Licence

Establishments used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the

  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and 1991
  • Breeding and Sale of Dogs ( Welfare) Act 1999

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

A person keeps a breeding establishment for dogs at any time if they carry on at their premises the business of breeding dogs for sale (whether by them or another person).

Applications for a licence must be made in writing to East Cambridgeshire District Council Environmental Services as it is not possible to apply for a dog breeding licence online.

A licence may be issued if the applicant 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.
  • The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934.

If this is the first time you are applying for a dog breeding licence, a veterinary surgeon will be required to inspect the breeding establishment. This is arranged via the Council once your application has been submitted.  

Veterinary inspections are not required for annual licence renewal applications.

Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Council's 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 adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals.
  • that 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.
  • that 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.
  • that 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 East Cambridgeshire District Council.

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

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.

The following offences apply to the breeding of dogs:

  • Any person found guilty of keeping a dog breeding establishment without a licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,500.
  • Any person found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of their licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,500.
  • Any person 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 defendant's 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.

Application Forms

Dog Breeding Establishment Licence (Application/Renewal) - Download Form

Before completing your application, your attention is drawn to our privacy and data retention policy.


New dog breeding licence£259.00 + VET fees paid separately
Renewal fee£259.00


Licences are renewable on an annual basis.  Each licence last for 12 months from the date of issue. Completed application forms and the fee must be submitted to the Council before the expiry of the current licence. The Council will send a renewal reminder in September. Licence holders are advised to submit their application in plenty of time to enable the necessary inspection to be conducted and the new licence to be issued before the expiry date. The Council has three months to inspect and issue a new licence once it receives an application. 

Animal Licensing Policy

On the 14th November 2016 the Council's Licensing Committee approved an updated Animal Welfare Licensing Policy to assist all parties involved in this important area of regulation. Applicants and existing licence holders should refer to this document as it provides a great deal of useful information including the standards expected of a modern animal welfare establishment. 

Animal Licensing Policy - 2016

Public Registers

Public Registers

Trade Associations

The Kennel Club

For further advice and information

Licensing Department, East Cambridgeshire District Council. The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4EE

Telephone: 01353 665555