Licence - breeding dogs – licence
What sort of authorisation do I need to breed dogs for
If you want to breed dogs in the
Maidstone Borough for sale to the general public, you must have a
Dog Breeding Licence from Maidstone Borough Council. You must abide
by any conditions we apply to your licence.
Any dogs that you offer for sale
must have been bred by you, and you may only sell them from your
own licensed premises. If you wish to sell dogs bred elsewhere, you
must apply for a Pet Shop licence.
You need Planning Consents or a
Change of Use Certificate to use your premises for the purposes of
a dog breeding business. Obtaining the right planning permission
can be a long and complex process, and we will not be able to
process your licence application until you are able to include such
proof of consent in your application.
If you breed dogs as a hobby, e.g.
for the purposes of showing, rather than for sale, and produce less
than five litters in any 12-month period, you may not need a
licence. Please contact us if in any doubt, using the details to
the right of this page.
Keeping an unlicensed dog breeding establishment
carries penalties of imprisonment for up to three months, or a fine
up to level 4 on the standard scale (currently £2,500) on
conviction. Breaking the terms of your licence can result in being
disqualified from keeping a dog breeding establishment in the
future or even from keeping a dog at all
Dog breeding is regulated under
Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, as amended by the Breeding
of Dogs Act 1991 and the Breeding
and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.
This legislation controls many
aspects of dog breeding, from the conditions under which dogs can
be kept to the frequency of breeding for bitches.
Am I eligible?
To be considered for a Dog Breeding
Licence, you must never have been disqualified from:
- Keeping a dog breeding establishment
- Keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
- Having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals
(Amendment) Act 1954
- Boarding animals, under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act
We will also consider very seriously
any other previous offences relating to the mistreatment of animals
or negligence in the care of animals, or any evidence of the
How much do licences cost, and how often are they renewed?
The fee for Dog Breeding Licences
varies depending on the number of breeding bitches you keep.
Licences are renewable annually with payment of the appropriate
fee. Please see the tariff below:
Breeding of Dogs
Up to 5 bitches: £252
How do I apply?
You will need to complete the form
for Dog Breeding Licences.
As part of your application, you will
need to provide:
- Details on the age, breed and
genders of dogs you intend to keep
- The address of the premises
where the animals will usually be housed
- A detailed plan of your
premises including all relevant features, such as emergency access,
any public areas, animal accommodation, exercise areas, water and
electricity access etc., and storage areas. If you need any advice
on preparing these plans, please contact us.
- Your planning certificates
allowing you to use your premises exactly as you intend
- A copy of your Public
Liability Insurance to cover any damage or injury your dogs may
We strongly recommend that you arrange appropriate
insurance to fully cover your stock, including any possible
expenditure on veterinary bills in the event of ill-health or
accident. If you employ anyone in your business, you must also
obtain appropriate Employer’s Liability Insurance.
Please complete the application form
and return it with payment to:
The Licensing Team, Maidstone House,
King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6JQ.
Please make cheques payable to
Maidstone Borough Council.
Alternatively, please contact the
Licensing Team on 01622 602727, and they will post you paper copies
of the forms to fill in and return to us.
What happens next?
Once everything has been received,
applications take 30 calendar days to process. During this time, we
recommend you stay in touch, as we may need further information
from you. We will contact you within 3-8 days of receiving your
application to arrange a pre-inspection visit, which will take
place within 10 days of receipt.
How will my application be assessed?
During the inspection of your
premises and the assessment of your application, we will need to
- Any dog accommodation will be suitably constructed and of
suitable size and capacity for the number of dogs kept, with
suitable exercise facilities, and will be kept at appropriate
temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness
- All dogs will be supplied with adequate and suitable food,
drink and bedding material, will be adequately exercised, and will
be visited at suitable intervals
- An appropriate emergency plan is in place to protect the dogs
in case of fire or other incident
- Health precautions are in place to prevent and control the
spread of infectious or contagious diseases
- All appropriate measures are taken to provide the dogs with
suitable food, drink, bedding material and exercise when being
transported to and from the breeding establishment
Also, there are controls on the
frequency and age at which any bitches in your care or the care of
your relatives may give birth. Bitches must not:
- Be mated if they are less than one year old
- Give birth to more than six litters of puppies each in their
- Give birth to puppies before the expiry of twelve months
beginning with the day they last gave birth
Accurate records must be kept in a
prescribed format at your premises. You must make them available
for inspection on-site by any officer of Maidstone Borough Council,
or any veterinary professional authorised to inspect the
We may also place other conditions on
your licence to ensure the welfare of your animals and the
protection of public health.
Once we are satisfied with your
arrangements and have fully processed the licence, we will issue
you with your licence certificate.
What do I do if I want to complain?
If you are unhappy with the service
you have received from Maidstone Borough Council, you can view our
complaints policy or
make a complaint.
More information on protecting pets
from cruelty is available on the website of
the Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural
If you have any concerns over animal welfare or
public safety in relation to a dog breeding establishment near you,
or which you have visited, please contact us immediately using the
details to the right of the screen.