Licence summary

Schedule 1 of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 defines Dog breeding in the following way:

"Either or both of the following:

  1. breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12 month period;
  2. breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs”

Full copy of the Animal Welfare Act.

In scope

This would include:

  • anyone breeding three or more litters of puppies per year (unless they can demonstrate that none have been sold – either as puppies or adults)
  • anyone breeding puppies and advertising a business of selling them (irrespective of the number of litters produced per year)
  • this is not restricted to registered businesses, individuals can be classed as running a business depending on the extent of their activities

Out of scope

This would include:

  • breeders who can provide documentary evidence that none of the puppies were sold, or that they kept all of the puppies themselves
  • registered charities that re-home puppies that are born to rescue dogs
  • anyone breeding only assistance dogs
  • breeders that breed a small number of puppies and that sell them without making a profit (hobby breeders), documentary evidence will be required


"Sufficient numbers of people who are competent for the purpose must be available to provide a level of care that ensures that the welfare needs of all the animals are met."  Competence can be demonstrated by holding an appropriate qualification, but can also be demonstrated through suitable experience or training.

New applications

Before any Animal Activity Licence is issued Warwick District Council must:

  • Consider the current and previous conduct of the applicant to determine whether they are a fit and proper person to carry out the licensable activity
  • Inspect the proposed site to assess if it is likely to meet the licence conditions (in some cases this may require a veterinarian to be present as well as the Local Authority Inspector)
  • Consider the contents and recommendations of the inspectors report
  • Ensure that the correct application form and fee have been received

    The Animal Activity Licence, can be variable in duration, lasting between 1 and 3 years.  Each licence issued will be determined by the outcome of the risk assessment undertaken during the inspection.  Further information on this process can be found in the Procedural guidance notes.

Renewing a licence

Warwick District Council should advise each licence holder that their licence needs to be renewed 3 months before the current licence expires.  The licence holder must apply for a renewal licence at least 10 weeks before their current licence expires, if they wish to continue to operate the licensable activity without a break.  An inspection of the premises must be completed before a licence can be renewed.

The application form is available below in an editable word format or in a PDF format.  Applications can be made via email, post or at Riverside House during normal working hours.

An application for a new premises will be inspected by a council's retained veterinary surgeon who will examine each animal.


The application fee for the breeding of dogs is currently £125. (The centre will be invoiced for the additional vets fees that are incurred by the Council for the first registration inspection).

As the duration of the licence is variable the licence fee is payable upon the granting of the licence and is currently £110 per year for breeders with up to 10 bitches and £150 per year for larger centres.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted.

Contact details

For any matter relating to this licence or associated applications, contact the Licensing Team on 01926 456705 or email