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Dog breeding establishments | Tender District Council

Anyone who breeds dogs for sale must hold a license issued by the local authority under the Animal Welfare (Licensing for Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

The regulations provide for the inspection of places where dogs are bred and lay down the conditions that must be respected.

Breeding female dogs are included if:

  • they are kept at all times during the 12 month period by the applicant/licensee on the premises where they carry on the business of breeding dogs for sale
  • they are cared for in these premises by one of their relatives (i.e. parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew or someone with whom they live as a couple)
  • they are kept by them elsewhere
  • if they are held by another person under a contract or other arrangement with that person.

“Premises” includes a private dwelling.

You will not receive a license if you have been disqualified for any of the following:

  • maintenance of a breeding establishment
  • holding a pet store
  • have pets
  • to run a boarding house for animals

Each establishment will receive a star rating from 1 to 5 stars based on the company’s compliance with the licensing conditions set out in The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals (England) Regulations 2018. The license will be issued for a period 1, 2 or 3 years, depending on the number of stars obtained.

Breeding establishments can only operate once they have received a valid license.

On the death of a permit holder, the permit passes to his personal representative for a period of 3 months from the day of his death and then expires.

What are the license requirements?

Before a license is issued, the local authority must ensure that certain ‘dog breeding’ conditions, relating to animal welfare, are met. Full licensing requirements are set out in the Dog Breeding Requirements Guidance Notes document.

It is an offense to operate a dog-breeding establishment without a license, or to contravene any condition attached to a license

It is an offense to obstruct the entry or inspection or examination of any animal found on the premises.

To make a request

Before applying for a breeding permit, it is advisable to consider the following:

Will the activity require a building permit? It is strongly advised to contact the planning services to discuss this. Environmental Health will not process your license application if there are outstanding scheduling considerations.

Is the activity likely to generate nuisance? – the Council handles numerous complaints each year about the noise of barking dogs.

You must consider your health and safety, that of anyone you employ in the business and of anyone who may be affected by your business activities. You will need to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, taking into account (amongst others): access to wellness facilities – e.g. hand washing; control of substances hazardous to health, accidents and injury reporting. Advice on health and safety can be obtained from the Environmental Services Health and Safety team.

How to register:

Complete and return the Dog Breeding License Application Form. Our current fees and charges can also be found on the application form.

What happens after I request a license?

If a license has not previously been issued to the applicant in respect of a premises, an inspection will be carried out by an authorized officer of the Tendring District Council and a veterinarian. A report regarding the applicant, premises and any other relevant matters will be reviewed before a license is issued. Subsequent inspections may be carried out by an authorized agent.

Power of entry

Local authority officers, veterinarians or practitioners authorized in writing by the local authority may, on production of such authorization, enter any approved dog-breeding establishment for the purpose of carrying out an inspection.

Authority to enter premises suspected of operating without a license can be obtained by applying to a justice of the peace for a warrant.


The licensee will commit an offense if they breach a license condition or obstruct an authorized officer. In addition, the following also applies:

  • a licensee is only permitted to sell dogs on licensed premises and only to a member of the public, an approved pet shop or an approved Scottish breeding establishment;
  • if a dog is sold directly to a member of the public, it must be at least 8 weeks old;
  • if a dog is sold to an approved pet shop or approved Scottish breeding establishment, it must bear an identification tag or badge which clearly displays information indicating the approved breeding establishment in which it was born and any other information required by regulation.

Contact details:

Environmental Health (Food, Health and Safety team)
88-90 Pier Avenue
CO15 1TN
Phone: 01255 686767

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