Apply for or Renew a Dog Breeding Licence


You must have a dog breeding licence if either or both of the following apply:

  • you breed 3 or more litters in any 12 month period
  • you breed dogs and advertise a business of selling dogs

You don't need a licence for activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria:

  • breeders who can provide documented evidence, if requested, that none of the puppies were sold or that they kept all of the puppies themselves.
  • breeders that breed a small number of puppies (i.e. less than 3 litters per year), and that sell them without making a profit.
  • registered charities that re-home puppies that are born to rescue dogs, unless such registered charities are in practice running this element of their operations as a commercial activity.
  • organisations regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
  • 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.

Lucy’s Law

On 6 April 2020 the Government introduced landmark new legislation to tackle the low-welfare, high volume supply of puppies and kittens, by banning their commercial third-party sale in England.

‘Lucy’s Law’ means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. If you sell puppies or kittens without a licence, you could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months.


Who can apply 

You must be aged 16 or over. 



We will inspect your premises before giving you a licence, and may inspect any time after your licence is granted.

You’ll need show that the dogs you look after are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation
  • provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
  • regularly exercised
  • are transported in safe and comfortable conditions 
  • are protected in case of fire or other emergency
  • are protected from the spread of disease 



You will be required to provide the following: 

  • a plan of the premises
  • standard operating procedures 
  • an emergency response plan 
  • an infection control procedure 
  • a preventative health care plan

You need a designated key holder who has access to all animal areas of the business. They must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.



You may not get a licence if you’ve been disqualified or had a licence refused, revoked or cancelled for an animal health or welfare offence. For more information see the The Animal Licensing Regulations 2018.


Record keeping 

You must keep a register containing a description of all the animals. You must keep records for at least three years beginning with the date on which the record was created.


Check if you need planning permission

You may need planning permission for your business.

You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to your building, such as building an extension
  • change the use of your building

If your project needs planning permission and you do the work without getting it, you can be served an ‘enforcement notice’ ordering you to undo all the changes you have made.

To find out if your business premises will need planning permission.



Find out how much your licence will cost.

The licence fees are broken down into two parts:-

Part A covers the cost of deciding the licence application. This includes administration and inspection costs. 

Part B covers the cost of issuing the licence. 

Your licence will not be issued until all fees have been paid, this means the application fee (part a), the grant fee (part b) and veterinary fees.


How to apply for or renew a licence

You will need to meet all aspects of the The Animal Licensing Regulations 2018 and The DEFRA guidance for your licence to be granted.   

Please ensure you read the regulations and guidance before you apply.   

Download and fill in the form (DOCX, 127.7 KB)

You can use this form to apply for more than one animal activities licence type.


Pay online

You’ll need your debit or credit card details

Pay online


Send the form to us


Post to: Gloucester City Council, Community Wellbeing Team, PO Box 2017, Pershore, WR10 9BJ

If you send paperwork in by post we may not be able to collect it, therefore, we cannot guarantee when it will be processed. Gloucester City Council are supporting flexible working to ensure the safety of staff during this time.


What happens next 

Your application will be assessed and we may contact you for more information. 

You'll be visited by an inspector who will inspect your premises. The inspector will look at the animals and their environment and refer to the DEFRA guidance

A Star Rating  will be issued following inspection. The overall score will determine the star rating and the length of the licence. 

Your licence will be issued when all necessary fees have been paid.