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Tuesday , February , 27 2024
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Dog Breeding

You will require a licence.

Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are subject to licensing:

1. Anyone breeding puppies and advertising a business of selling them, as defined under the business test within the Regulations. This is irrespective of the number of litters produced per year. This is not restricted to registered businesses – individuals can also be classed as a business depending on the extent of their activities.

2. Anyone breeding three or more litters of puppies per year (unless they can show that none of the puppies have been sold)

Factors that should be considered when determining whether someone is “advertising a business” include:

  • The number, frequency and/or volume of sales - systematic and repeated transactions using the same means of advertising are likely to indicate a commercial activity.
  • High volumes of animals sold or advertised for sale could indicate a business.
  • Low volumes of animals sold or advertised could indicate a business where high sales prices or large profit margins are involved.
  • High range and variability in the breeds traded. A wide variety of breeds being advertised could indicate the commercial nature of the activity.
  • High numbers of advertisements of puppies for sale, including on classified websites, could indicate commercial behaviour, even where there is no actual sale taking place via the internet. This could be high numbers of advertisements at any one time or over a short period of time, and/or regularly.
  • Advertising through a variety of sites, forums or media could indicate a commercial activity.

Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are not subject to licensing:

  1. Breeders who can provide documented evidence, if requested, that none of the puppies were sold or that they kept all of the puppies themselves. Documented evidence will need to include records of the new owners of all of the puppies and provide details on why there was no transaction involved (including in kind).
  2. Registered charities that rehome puppies that are born to rescue dogs, unless such registered charities are in practice running this element of their operations as a commercial activity.
  • Anyone breeding only assistance dogs as defined in the Equality Act 2010 (e.g. Guide Dogs for the Blind).
  • Anyone keeping a dog under the Animal Health Act 1981.
  • Organisations regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
  • Breeders that breed a small number of puppies (i.e. less than 3 litters per year), and that sell them without making a profit.

Please refer to the downloadable Breeding of Dogs Conditions and DEFRA guidance document for more information.

We will call upon the services of an approved vet for new applications, which is payable by the applicant in addition to the application fee.

'Each business issued with a licence will be awarded a ‘Star Rating’, which must be displayed. The Star Rating will range from 1 star (meeting minimum standards) to 5 stars (meeting higher standards) and will be based on compliance with the Statutory Conditions and Standards. Information on how the Local Authority calculates the Star Rating can be found in the DEFRA guidance entitled ‘Procedural Guidance for Local Authorities’,’


Please contact us if you have a complaint about the welfare of animals or nuisance caused by a dog breeding establishment, or if you know of any Dog Breeders in Carlisle that do not have a Licence.

The full list of licence dog breeders can be found on the right-hand side of the page and also by following the link here.

Application & Fees

* Where an application relates to more than one activity, the higher licence application/Issue fee will apply and the additional activity fee will also be payable for each additional licensable activity applied for.
 License Type 2023-24 PART A Application Fee  PART B        Grant of Licence Fee Additional Cost to Applicant
Breeding Dogs New £201.30 £58.90 + Vets Fee
Renewal £179.30 £58.90 + Vets Fee where business identified as High Risk following risk assessment
2/3 Year Licence - Inspection Fee £146 N/A + Vets Fee where business identified as High Risk following risk assessment
Additional Licensable Activities* New / Renewal

2/3 Year Inspection Fee

£58.90 + Vets Fee if required
Variation to licence/re-evaluation of star rating - Dog Breeding / Hiring out horses Variation £145  N/A  + Vets Fee if required
Minor Variation of Licence - fixed fee Variation £31  N/A  Nil
Transfer of Licence due to death of licensee - fixed fee Transfer £  N/A  Nil

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