Dog breeding establishments

Dog Breeding Establishments must be licenced by the local council. The keeping of such premises is defined as the carrying on at premises of any nature (including a private dwelling) of a business of breeding dogs with a view to their being sold in the course of such business, whether by their keeper or any other person.

The Act indicates that the keeping of bitches who give birth to 5 or more litters, of which at least one puppy is sold, in any period of 12 months is presumed to constitute a business. Bitches count towards the qualifying total if they are kept at anytime during the 12 month period by the applicant/licence holder or by their relatives at the premises, by the applicant/licence holder elsewhere or by someone else as part of a breeding agreement. Each bitch may only give birth to one litter of puppies in any 12 month period.

There is no legislation regulating the breeding of cats or other animals.

A Veterinary Consultant and Licensing Officer inspect on application.

All licensed boarding establishments within the district are subject inspection by a Licensing Officer on annual renewal of licences and a interim, 'spot check' inspection at some point throughout the licence period.

All licenced dog breeding establishments must comply with Rochford District Councils standard conditions for dog breeding establishments and may be subject to additional conditions as specified by the council.


Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 and 1991.
Breeding and sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.

Issuing Department


Financial Requirements

Please see schedule of fees in Related Content.  You will be invoiced for any Veterinary Consultants fees if a vet has been asked to attend the premises inspection.  A Licence will not be issued until all fees have been paid.

Expiry Date

All Dog Breeding Establishment Licences are valid for one year from the date of issue.

Renewal Of Licences

It is an offence to carry on the business of breeding dogs, as defined in the acts above, without a current licence. Therefore licence holders must apply for renewal of their licence at least 2 months before their licence expires.