Apply for an animal licence

You need different licences for breeding, keeping, training, hiring out and selling animals.

Dog breeding licence

A licence is required for either or both of the following:

  • Breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period.
  • Breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs.

This does not include:

  • keeping a dog on any premises pursuant to a requirement under the Animal Health Act 1981
  • breeding assistance dogs, within the meaning of Section 173 of the Equality Act 2010
  • breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period, if the person carrying out the activity provides documentary evidence that none of them have been sold, whether as puppies or as adult dogs.

Inspections and star ratings

All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure that the applicant has:

  • a specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare (including the animal's mental and physical health, feeding, and knowledge of environmental enrichment)
  • comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities
  • an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures, which are reviewed regularly
  • training procedures in place to make sure that staff know what is expected of them
  • clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

The premises itself will also be assessed against the national standards relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

Based on the information, we will assess the risk posed by the business and award a star rating. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, while premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars.

A premises with a lower star rating is not necessarily a premises to avoid, as there are other factors that have to be considered, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating. New businesses are likely to be assessed as slightly higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered.

Costs for this service

  • For a new licence, the application fee is £393. This includes veterinary inspection fee on first application.
  • For a renewal of an existing licence, the application fee is £315.
  • A licence fee of £290 will be payable on successful grant.

What you need to know...

Download and complete

Please download and complete the application form:

Licence to breed and sell dogs application form (PDF, 298KB)

Return it with a cheque payable to 'London Borough of Lambeth' and send it to Animal Welfare Services. You can also contact us if you need more information or have any concerns.