Last updated 5 October 2018
1. The licence
Breeding of Dogs Act 1973
It's an offence under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, as amended by Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act 1991 and 1999, to breed dogs for commercial sale without the appropriate licence. The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding £2500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.
You must have a Breeders licence if you breed
- three or more litters of puppies in any 12 month period
- puppies and advertise a business of selling them, as defined under the business test - this is irrespective of the number of litters produced per year
A business is defined in the legislation as an operator who
- makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
- earns any commission or fee from the activity
For new applications, planning permission may be required. You can find out more on our planning pages.
Before making an application you should read through the DEFRA guidance notes below. It provides general and specific licence conditions that are attached to the licence and information on how to meet each required standard.
How to apply
To apply for a breeders licence you must read the Conditions for breeding dogs (PDF 130Kb) before you download and complete the form below
PDF, 130 KB
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
There is an application fee which you must be pay when you make your application. You can find full details on our fees page.
How to pay
You can send a cheque for the cost of the licence enclosed with your application form to
Environmental Health and Trading Standards
Fred Perry House
Or you can email your application to email@example.com.
If you have an invoice you can call 0161 474 4181 and ask for business support.
Before we grant you a licence we must arrange for an inspection of your premises to make sure you meet current legislation. Cheshire East Council will carry out the inspection on our behalf and they may be accompanied by a vet. Once they're satisfied that you comply with the necessary requirements, we'll issue your licence awarding a star rating of up to 5 stars and up to 3 years in length.