Licence summary

Establishments used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and 1991. Also the Breeding and sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.

No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority.

The 1999 Act amends the definition of a breeding establishment in the 1973 Act. A breeding establishment is defined as any premises where the business of breeding dogs for sale is carried on.

Hobby breeders would not be expected to fall within that definition, even if they sold some puppies, provided that the new section 4A(3) of the 1973 Act does not apply to them.

Section 4A(3) provides that a person will be presumed to be carrying on the business of breeding dogs for sale at any premises if, during any 12 month period, a total of 5 or more litters are born to bitches (at any location) during that period.

In summary, anyone carrying out a dog breeding business will require a licence regardless of the number of litters involved. However, any hobby breeder whose bitches produce 5 or more litters a year will be regarded as carrying on a business by Falkirk Council.

Eligibility criteria

Applications for a licence must be made to Falkirk Council, and a licence may be issued if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following acts.

  • The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973
  • The Pet Animals Act 1951
  • The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934

Regulation summary

A copy of the legislation can be viewed at the address shown in the contact details section, where you may also obtain a copy of Falkirk Council's standard licence conditions, an application form and further help and advice.

Application evaluation process

A fee will be payable for applications and if the licence is granted conditions may be attached.

Fee type Cost
Dog Breeding Establishments Licence £90 plus Vet's fee if required

Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on 31 December of the year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before this date if the premises are to continue as a dog breeding establishment.

Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Council's officer:

  • that the dogs will at all times be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • that the dogs will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals
  • that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread amongst the dogs of infectious or contagious diseases, including the provision of isolation facilities
  • that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable and sufficient fire fighting equipment
  • that all appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the dogs will be provided with suitable food drink and bedding material and adequately exercised when being transported to or from the breeding establishment

A licence may be refused or withheld on other grounds if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the breeding of dogs.

Each licence is subject to standard conditions that are imposed on all dog-breeding establishments licensed by Falkirk Council.

In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.

Will tacit consent apply?

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

If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us.

How to apply

To apply, change or renew a dog breeding licence you can complete the form below and send it to Falkirk Council by email or post:

Apply to obtain or renew a dog breeding licence

Failed application and licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Sheriff in Scotland.

Other redress

For example; complaints about noise, pollution, etc should be directed to the Environmental Protection Unit.

Environmental Protection Unit
Abbotsford House
Davids Loan
Falkirk
FK2 7YZ
01324 504982

The following offences apply to the breeding of dogs:

  • Anybody found guilty of keeping a dog breeding establishment without a licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,500.
  • Anybody found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of their licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,500.
  • Anybody found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector, or authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner in the exercising of their powers may be fined up to a maximum of £1,000.
  • If found guilty under this Act, the defendant's licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping a dog breeding establishment for such length of time as the Court thinks fit.