Cookies information uses cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about the cookies we use.

Close banner

Breeding pets? You may well require a licence from the Council

Published: 12 April 2021

Breeding Pets Breeding pets at home?

Residents are being reminded that they may need a licence if they are breeding pets for sale.

ECC tenants - please remember that you need to ask for consent from your Housing Officer to have a pet.

Anyone breeding dogs, even occasionally, or any other animals for sale including rabbits, cats, reptiles and birds at their home or garden could be classed as ‘running a business of breeding dogs’ or ‘selling animals as pets’.

In that case residents must have a licence for this under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

You still need a licence if your business is based at home or you sell animals online.

Breeding dogs

You need a dog breeding license if:

  • run a business that breeds and advertises dogs for sale
  • breed 3 or more litters in a year and sell any of the puppies

Contact us on our dog breeding establishments page to apply for a licence to breed dogs in if you fall into this category.

Selling animals as pets

You need to get a licence if your business sells animals:

  • as pets
  • which will later be resold as pets

Contact us on our pet shops page to apply for a licence to sell animals as pets if you fall into this category.

The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has further guidance on Animal Welfare and conditions for selling animals as pets on the DEFRA website.

Dangerous and wild animals

To keep an animal considered to be wild, dangerous, or exotic in captivity, you will need a licence. Licences mostly relate to conservation rather than animal welfare and many are linked to further legislation or international conventions. Further information about dangerous and wild animals and how to apply for a license can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The RSPCA also has information on their website:

If you are a council tenant, you must speak to your Housing Officer for further advice in all instances.

Share this page on...