Dog breeders'

 

Licence Summary

If you are breeding dogs in Fife, or are thinking about breeding dogs, you will need a licence from Fife Council.

You can apply for a breeding licence by completing an application form which is available online or from the publications section on this page.

We will grant you a licence we have:

  • received a completed application form
  • received the appropriate fee (see attached publication for details of current fees)
  • completed a satisfactory inspection of the premises


There is a fee for the licence, and it varies depending on the number of animals you have and any vet costs we may incur as part of the inspection.

The licence will last for 12 months and is renewed every January.

Our standard licence conditions can also be viewed from the publications section.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

 

 

 

 

Applicants must be over 18 years of age and must not have been disqualified:

  • from keeping a dog under the Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) Act 1933 or Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934
  • from keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • from having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • from keeping an animal boarding establishment under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • from a disqualification under the Animal Health Act 1981 following a conviction for deliberately infecting an animal with a disease
  • from owing, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals, working with, using, riding or driving animals, providing animal services, taking possession of animals for any of these purposes or taking charge of animals for any other purposes under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

Applicants must pay the licence fee and comply with any licence conditions.

Regulation Summary

The aim of the licensing scheme under the Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 and 1991 and The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 legislation is to ensure that all dog breeders as defined by this legislation are licensed and that high standards of animal health and welfare are maintained in these establishments.

The definition of a breeder falls under the above legislation and it states the following:

A person will be presumed to be carrying on a business of breeding dogs for sale where during any twelve month period five or more litters are born to his/her bitches which are:

(a)   kept by him at any premises during any period of 12 months;
(b)   kept by any relative of his at those premises
(c)   kept by him elsewhere; and
(d)   kept by any person under a breeding agreement with him.

In addition to the above, decisions as to whether breeders with bitches producing fewer than 5 litters per year need to be licensed will depend on whether the persons concerned are carrying on a business.  This is decided upon by this Service on the facts of each case.

To operate a dog breeding establishment without a licence issued by Fife Council is a contravention of the Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 and 1991.

Application Evaluation Process

Information on our Licence charges can be found in the publication section on this page.

If you choose to pay for your application using a credit card, an additional fee of 1.25% will be payable.  If you use a debit card, no additional fee will apply.   Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

 

Before deciding an application Fife Council must consider a report from a veterinary surgeon or practitioner detailing whether the premises are suitable for a dog breeding establishment.

Fife Council will also take into account whether the applicant is suitable and qualified to hold a licence.  They must also be satisfied of the following:

  • that consideration will be given to the condition of the dogs and that they will be maintained in good health and kept physically fit
  • that accommodation shall be suitable and sufficient as respects to construction, size of quarters, numbers of occupants etc.
  • that precautions will be taken to reduce the spread of contagious of infectious diseases among dogs and that veterinary first aid equipment and medicines will be provided and maintained
  • that suitable food, drink and bedding will be provided and that the dogs will be exercised and groomed at suitable intervals
  • that suitable heating, lighting, ventilation and temperature be provided and maintained
  • that storage facilities for soiled bedding and other waste are suitable
  • that appropriate procedures are in place to protect and remove the dogs in the case of a fire and that as part of this, the name, address and telephone number of the licence holder is displayed outside the premises and fire instructions are also displayed
  • that suitable isolation facilities are provided
  • that whilst dogs are being transported to and from the breeding establishment, suitable food, drink, bedding material and exercise are provided

In addition to any other conditions a dog breeding establishment licence must be subject to the following conditions:

  • that bitches will not be mated if they are less than one year old
  • that bitches do not give birth to more than six litters of puppies each
  • that bitches do not give birth to puppies before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which they last gave birth to puppies
  • that specific written records be kept in the prescribed format which includes details such as name, date of birth, address where kept, breed, description, date of mating, details of sire, details of litter, sale details etc
  • that in addition to the Sale of Dogs (Identification Tags)(Scotland) Regulations 1999 where the licence holder sells a dog to the keeper of a licensed pet shop or licensed Scottish rearing establishment, the dog, when delivered, must be wearing an identifying tag or badge.  This identifying tag or badge must clearly display information indicating the breeding establishment at which it was born, the date of birth of the dog and any identifying number, if any, allocated to the dog by the licensed breeding establishment at which it was born.
  • that the business will not be left in the charge of someone under 16 years of age
  • that the licence holder holds indemnity insurance

Apply Online

You can apply online using the "do-it-online" link on the right of this page, or you can print out and complete a Dog Breeding application form from our publications section on this page.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No, the business cannot operate before the licence is approved. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online or use the contact details below.

Failed Application Redress

If your licence is not approved please contact us in the first instance within 21 days of the date of the decision to refuse the application, you may require the Council to give written reasons for its decision.

You may appeal to the Sheriff against the decision within 28 days of the decision, provided you have already followed all available procedures to stating your case to the Council.

Any appeal will only be successful if the Sheriff considers that the Council, in making its decision:

  • erred in law
  • based its decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised its discretion in an unreasonable manner

You may appeal again on a point of law from the Sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of the Sheriff's decision.

Licence holder Redress

If you are unhappy with the conditions of your licence, or if your licence has been revoked, please contact us in the first instance within 21 days of the date of the decision to refuse the application, you may require the Council to give written reasons for its decision.


You may appeal to the Sheriff against the decision within 28 days of the decision, provided you have already followed all available procedures to stating your case to the Council.

Any appeal will only be successful if the Sheriff considers that the Council, in making its decision:

  • erred in law
  • based its decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised its discretion in an unreasonable manner

 

You may appeal again on a point of law from the Sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of the Sheriff's decision.

Consumer Complaint

If anyone wishes to complain about a licensed business normally the first contact is made to you, the licenceholder - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice.

From outside the UK contact the UKEuropeanConsumer.          

Trade Associations

Scottish Society of Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SSPCA)

The Kennel Club

International Sheep Dog Society

British Veterinary Association (BVA)

Scottish Executive Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD)

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

 


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