Dog Breeding Licence

To operate a business of breeding dogs with a view to selling them, you may require a licence.

  • A licensed dog breeder is someone who is in the business of breeding and selling dogs regardless of the number of litters produced in a 12 month period.
  • Anyone producing five litters or more in a 12 month period also should be licensed regardless of whether they are in the business of breeding and selling dogs.

Licences to breed dogs are issued under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 and Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.

Eligibility criteria

You may not apply for a dog breeding licence if you have ever been disqualified under any of the following legislation:

  • Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) Act 1933 from keeping a dog
  • Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs – Scotland) Act 1933 from keeping a dog
  • Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954 from having custody of animals
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 from the boarding of animals

Application process

Application forms and current fee are available from the Environmental Health Team via Contact Harlow.

Applications should be made to the local authority where the premises is situated. Officers authorised by the Council will carry out an inspection of the premises before any licence is granted. Officers may also attend to inspect the premises without notice when a licence is in force to monitor compliance with the licence conditions. Any licence will be issued subject to compliance with licence conditions and payment of the licence fee. Licences are renewable annually.

Can I appeal if my application is refused?

Please contact Harlow Council in the first instance. Any applicant who is refused a licence or wants to object to a condition on the licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court within 21 days of receiving notice of the decision.

Complaints about dog breeding

If you wish to complain that a dog breeding premises is causing a nuisance, or if you believe that there has been a breach of licence conditions, please contact Contact Harlow.

You can report noise or dog fouling complaints online.