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Dog Breeding Establishments

Anyone who operates as a dog breeding establishment must have a licence from the Council.  This is so that Council can regulate breeders to ensure the welfare and socialisation needs of the dogs are met.  Breeding establishments are subject to annual inspections by Council officers.

As part of The Welfare of Animals (Dog Breeding Establishments and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 anyone who owns three or more breeding bitches or intends to breed more than three litters of puppies a year for sale must apply to us for a dog breeding establishment licence.  A breeding establishment is defined as one or more premises, within the same area, operated by the same person and from which that person keeps three or more breeding bitches, and 

 🐶 breeds three or more litters of puppies in any 12 month period

 🐶 advertises three or more litters of puppies for sale in any 12 month period

 🐶 supplies three or more litters of puppies in any 12 month period, or

 🐶 advertises a business of breeding or selling of puppies.

We regulate dog breeding establishments within Derry City & Strabane District Council to make sure that they meet minimum standards of accommodation, environment, mating, whelping, behaviour, socialising and health. We have a statutory duty to make sure that the Welfare of Animal (Dog Breeding Establishments and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 is enforced.

Requirements for setting up a Dog Breeding Establishment 

If you are planning to operate a dog breeding establishment within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area you must apply to us for a licence.  Download licence application form.  

If you need advice or guidance on dog breeding, please contact us 02871 253253 or [email protected]

You cannot apply for a dog breeding licence if you have been disqualified under any of the following legislations:

 🐶 The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 

 🐶 The Welfare of Animals Act 2011 

 🐶 The Dogs (NI) Order 1983, (amended)

 🐶 Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963

 🐶 The Protection of Animals Act 1954

 🐶 The Pet Animals Act 1951


You may also need to get permission from your landlord or mortgage provider, and should check with Building Control and Belfast Planning Service to make sure you have all the relevant documents and approvals. It is your responsibility to make sure all these checks have been made. 



There are different fees for each breeding establishment depending on the number of bitches kept there

 🐶 10 or less bitches £150

 🐶 11 to 15 bitches   £200

 🐶 26 to 50 bitches   £250

 🐶 51 to 100 bitches £300

 🐶 101 to 200 bitches £350

 🐶 200 or more bitches £350 plus £50 for every additional 100 bitches

Other relevant information

Hobby breeders who do not sell more than 2 litters per year do not require a breeding establishment licence.

The Irish and English Kennel Clubs require relevant breeders to have a breeding establishment licence or registration will be refused.


Contact Details

 Dog Control Team
 📞  02871253253 
 📧 [email protected]


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