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Animal welfare licensing

Apply for a licence to breed dogs

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, a licence is required to breed dogs as a business.

When is a licence needed?

A licence is required if you are:

  • breeding 3 or more litters in a 12 month period
  • breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs

If less than 3 litters are bred in 12 months, we will consider your circumstances on an individual basis. This will include:

  • the frequency of litters bred
  • the sale price of the puppies sold
  • whether different breeds are bred
  • how the puppies are advertised for sale

If, after considering the points above, we determine that a licence is required, a breeder may demonstrate with evidence that they are not making a profit and so fall out of scope.

Are there any exceptions?

The following examples are considered out of scope and do not require a licence:

  • If all the puppies are kept by the breeder
  • if you are breeding assistance dogs
  • Dogs kept under the Animal Health Act 1981 or regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986
  • Registered charities rehoming puppies born to rescue dogs unless run as a commercial activity

What should I consider?

Full details are available in the guidance notes below: 

Any dogs that are advertised for sale must include the licence number. They must also show which local authority issued the licence and provide a recognisable photograph of the dog along with the dogs age.

How to apply

Download and complete the following document:

If you are applying for more than one activity, please fill out all relevant forms.

Completed forms may be returned to:

Animals and Licensing
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House, 5th Floor
Beckhampton Street
Swindon  
SN1 2JG

Alternatively, they may be sent to dogwarden@swindon.gov.uk

How to pay

Fees can be paid by cheque made payable to Swindon Borough Council or by phone on 01793 466114. Only the application fee needs to be paid with the application. The grant fee for the issue of the licence is payable following inspection.

The full fee list is available to view below:

Licensable activity Application fee including renewals Additional costs Licence grant fee - year 1 Licence grant fee - year 2 Licence grant fee - year 3
1 to 5 breeding bitches £140 Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost £180 £245 £315
6 to 15 breeding bitches £155 Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost £220 £275 £370
16 to 40 breeding bitches £170 Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost £240 £325 £390
41+ breeding bitches £190 Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost £290 £340 £425
Variation of licence £55 Vets fees where applicable and recharged at cost plus £85 inspection fee if required. None None None
Minor Variation – minor administrative change. For example, name change or additional carer name £15 None None None None
Transfer due to death of licensee £55 None None None None
Re-evaluation of star rating £45 + £85 inspection fee None None None None
Copy of licence £10.50 None None None None
Combination of licensable activities Fee chargeable is the highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee Vets fees as required recharged at cost Fee chargeable is the highest fee combined with 50% of lowest grant fee Fee chargeable is the highest fee combined with 50% of lowest grant fee Fee chargeable is the highest fee combined with 50% of lowest grant fee

 

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