On 1st October 2018 there were significant changes to the law in relation to Animal Welfare but in particular affects the breeding of dogs with the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals (England) Regulations 2018.

The new legislation covers ALL animals sold for profit but in particular is aimed at preventing the terrible practice of puppy farming where dogs and pups are kept in awful conditions and also to prevent the illegal importation of puppies into the UK under 8 weeks of age.

Part 5 of the regulations covers in particular the breeding of dogs which we will concentrate on below.

This legislation will no doubt catch both small hobby breeders and those breeding large numbers of litters per year currently with no licence.  It is designed not only to cover those breeding pedigree dogs but also crossbreeds, not currently subject to Kennel Club regulations.

The new legislation states that

  1. A) anyone breeding dogs as a business (defined as making over £1000 in a year) requires a council licence and;

  2. B) those breeders who breed over 3 letters per year must also have a  council licence, those larger operations also requiring planning permission for kennels

Any income must be declared is unearned income and therefore liable for tax purposes.

There is to be restrictions on all advertising platforms such as Pets4Homes which will require the council license number before allowing advertising to take place.

Those purchasing puppies are also being encouraged to ask all relevant questions and “shop” those not in possession of licenses!

As with all changes in legislation, it is important that you make yourself aware of the new laws and how they will affect you and your business.

If you have been found to be operating without a license and require legal advice or representation whether in a police interview or court, please get in touch with Farleys Solicitors on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email. Alternatively, if your enquiry is urgent, we operate a 24 hour emergency line on 01254 606050.