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Dog Breeding Licence

To operate a dog breeding business on any premises, or where the dog gives birth to five or more litters in any 12-month period, you need to apply for a licence.

Following an assessment by a member of the Environmental Health team, the Council may issue you with a licence to breed dogs.  Licences need to be renewed annually. 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 the Council. In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.

Eligibility Criteria

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. 

Before being granted a licence you must be able to demonstrate:

  • 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.

Fines and penalties

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.

If found guilty under this Act, 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.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that East Herts Council must process your application before it can be granted.  If you have not heard from East Herts Council within a reasonable period, please contact us on 01279 655261 to discuss your application. 

Public Register

Details of licenced dog breeders are available on our online Public Register.

Failed Application Appeals

If you are refused a licence, you should in the first instance discuss this with the inspecting officer who will explain why you have not been successful and what works are needed in order to enable the Council to issue a licence.  If you are still dissatisfied with the reasons for refusal you can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

Licence Holder Redress

If you are unhappy with any of the licence conditions added to your licence, you should in the first instance discuss this with the inspecting officer who will explain why they have been added.  If you are still dissatisfied with the reasons for any conditions you can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

Consumer Complaints

Depending on the nature of the complaint, we would always advise that in the first instance contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).  If that has not worked and you are located in the UK,  Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the  UK European Consumer Centre.

Apply and Renew Online

To apply for or renew an Dog Breeding licence you need to complete an online application form below. Applications during 2018/19 cost £265.00 not including vet charges.

We aim to process your application within 42 calendar days.

Online Application Form

  1. Before continuing your application, please note that you will be required to make a payment. Details of which can be found under our Environmental Health Fees and Charges.

    Please provide your contact number in your application. If you wish to pay by debit or credit card over the phone, we will contact you to confirm fees and arrange payment.

    If you are paying by cheque, please make it payable to East Hertfordshire District Council and send your cheque to:
    East Herts Council
    Wallfields
    Pegs Lane
    Hertford
    SG13 8EQ

    Your application will not be processed until we have received payment.