Do you need a Dog Breeding License?

Bassetlaw residents that breed and sell dogs are being encouraged to check if they need an animal activity license as the increased demand for dogs throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a rise in unlicensed breeders.

In England, you are required to have a license if you:

  • Run a business that breeds and advertises dogs for sale (this includes using online services such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree)
  • Breed more than two litters within a year and sell any of the puppies
  • Make a profit of more than £1000 on any number of litters (this also triggers the requirement to submit a self-assessment tax return to HMRC)

Any person or business found to breed and sell dogs without a license could get an unlimited fine or go to prison for up to six months. Breeders with an animal activity license are subject to inspections and conditions that ensure the safety and welfare of the animals in their care. If a dog breeder fails to comply with the conditions on their license, they could also receive an unlimited fine.

Cllr Josie Potts, Chair for Licensing at Bassetlaw District Council said: “When a dog breeder has an animal activity license, it benefits both the buyer and the seller. Licensed breeders have a star rating from 1 to 5 stars which is listed on their license. This makes it easy for those buying a dog to ensure that their new pet has received quality care and is healthy and happy.”

She added: “Buying a dog from an unlicensed breeder comes with the risk of being unable to guarantee the standard of the animal’s care. Some unlicensed breeders make a profit at the expense of the dog’s wellbeing. Dog breeders with a license can be proud of their status as a responsible seller and their good practice, achieved through following the license conditions.”

More information on the conditions you must meet to get a license to breed dogs can be found on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dog-breeding-licence-england 

To make an application for an Animal Activity License, visit the Council’s website: www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/legal-and-licensing/animal-activity-licences/

If you are buying a puppy, a responsible breeder should have no issue with showing you their license. If you would like to verify a license that has been issued by the Council, or you have concerns that a license is not being complied with, please contact the Bassetlaw District Council Licensing Department on 01909 533 533. The RSPCA have some simple tips on finding a good puppy breeder: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/puppy/breeder

If you feel that you have encountered an unlicensed puppy dealer or a puppy farm, you can report it to Bassetlaw District Council’s Licensing Team on 01909 533 533.


Last Updated on Friday, October 29, 2021