Licence for Dog Breeding

  • The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

    A breeding establishment is defined as any premises where the business of breeding of dogs for sale is carried on. A person will be presumed to be carrying on a business where, during any 12 month period, three or more litters are born at the premises and one puppy or more is sold. A decision as to whether a breeder with bitches producing fewer than three litters a year needs to be licensed will depend on whether the breeder concerned is carrying on a business: this can only be determined by the local authority on the facts of each case. 

    Each premises will be risk rated at inspection and will be given a star rating from 1 to 5, which will also determine whether the premises is granted a licence for 1, 2 or 3 years. An explanation of the star rating procedure can be viewed by clicking on the document at the side of this page.

  • Applying (and Covid 19)

    *While Covid 19 restrictions are in place, please make your licence application as usual. We will not be able to inspect your premises until social distancing restrictions have been lifted but, if your current licence expires during that period and you have applied to renew, you will be sent a letter extending your licence. When your inspection has been carried out, assuming the conditions have been met, your new licence will be issued and backdated.

    We understand how difficult things are and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all our businesses during these difficult times. To keep up with the latest rules and guidance regarding Covid 19, including support and advice for business, please see information on our website here, and on the Government website here

    Complete the online form (see link at the side of the page - you can register with our website or use the "Guest" button, which does not require you to sign in).

    Please note that an application for a licence renewal must be received more than 10 weeks before the current licence expires. Failure to do so may result in the licence not being renewed in time and, thus a period where the business can not operate.

    Please contact us on 01962 848097 (or email if you have any queries.

  • Fees

    The fees for Dog Breeders for 2020/21 (as revised in accordance with the Regulations) are £273. Your first inspection will require a vet and the cost of this will be recharged to the applicant.

    Note that, should the licensee apply for a reinspection, this must be done in writing, setting out the work that has been completed and the reasons for the reinspection. The full fee is payable for a reinspection.

    Methods of Payment

    1. Renewal applications. Credit/Debit card. Telephone 01962 848097 and your details will be taken.
    2. Renewal applications. Online. Use the blue Pay button on our home page. Choose Miscellaneous Payments. A new window appears. Choose Miscellaneous Payments again. Choose Animal Welfare from the list. Select the appropriate licence type and click on it. You are taken to an online form. Fill in the details and put the name of your premises in the message box. Use the continue button to move to the next page and make your payment.
    3. New applicants. As you will need to pay the cost of a veterinary inspection, it would be best not to make any payment at this stage. You will receive a single invoice after the veterinary inspection for the full amount that you owe.

    Note: If you have trouble paying for your licence at the time of application, please contact us on 01962 848097

  • Conditions

    The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1st October 2018, although current licences issued under previous legislation will remain in place until their expiry date. There is detailed guidance at this link and it is important that you read this before applying. Please read the guidance for the appropriate activity but also the procedural guidance.Click on the blue writing and it will link you to the appropriate website

  • Inspections

    Appointed veterinary surgeons and practitioners, appropriately qualified local authority officers, or other competent persons authorised by the local authority may inspect licensed premises and any animals at such premises at any reasonable time. Note that, if a veterinary surgeon or practitioner is required to attend an inspection, these charges will be passed on to the applicant in addition to the Council's licence fees.

    There will normally only be one inspection for each licence granted but further inspections may be made to check that licence conditions have been complied with, if a complaint is received about the premises, or if there is any concern about the condition of the premises, or the welfare of an animal at the premises.

    Unlicensed premises may also be inspected in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

    Please contact us on 01962 848097 (or email if you have any queries.

  • Refusal, Revocation, Suspension or Variation of a licence

    A licence will be refused;

    • If the applicant is under 18.
    • If the applicant has been disqualified from holding an animal licence or keeping an animal, or has had a licence revoked under scetion 15 of the Regulations.
    • If conditions of the licence are not met.

    The applicant may appeal to a First tier Tribunal if the Council refuses to grant or renew a licence

    A licence may be varied, suspended or revoked by the Council for the following reasons;

    • the licence conditions are not being complied with
    • there has been a breach of the Regulations
    • the information supplied by the licensee is false or misleading, or
    • it is necessary to protect the welfare of an animal.

    Any significant change to the premises may require a variation to your licence. The licensee may request a variation or the Council can impose one. This will involve a small charge. Please contact us on if you think a variation may be needed.

    The licensee may appeal to a First tier Tribunal if the Council has varied, suspended or revoked a licence.


  • Thinking of buying a puppy?

    There is a list of those licensed to breed dogs in the District on the right hand side of the page. The list is usually updated twice a year.

    Remember that adverts posted by licensed breeders must include their licence number and the name of the Council they are licensed by. If they claim to be licensed by Winchester City Council, check with us before buying a puppy.

    There is a 2020 Government campaign called "Petfished" which warns of the pitfalls of buying through online sources. We advise that you look at it before buying There is a link here

    The associated education campaign run by The Dogs Trust is called "Dogfished", which gives good advice about buying a puppy. There is a link here

  • Have you heard of Lucy's Law?

    As of 6th April 2020, it will be illegalfor a pet shop or other licensed pet seller to sell puppies or kittens.

    Licensed breeders of puppies may only sell them from their own premises.