Puppy Farmers Defined

A really interesting and useful article appears on the K9 Magazine website/blog which gives an insight into how the number of litters any person breeds defines whether or not they are a “puppy farmer”.  The full article is here.  In summary…

Professor Bateson, in his recent report, gave us all a definition of what, precisely, a puppy farmer is.  Written into the definitions of the Bateson report:- Dog farm: Any establishment breeding dogs which, by virtue of the numbers of bitches/ litters involved, falls under the licensing provisions of the Breeding of Dogs Act. 

If you then read the definition of the Breeding of Dogs Act, according to the Bateson report, the definition of a ’dog farm’ / puppy farm is any breeder who produces five or more litters per year.


Under the Breeding of Dogs Act, a person falls under the licensing provisions if:

(3) Subject to subsection (5) of this section, where—

(a) a person keeps a bitch at any premises at any time during any period of twelve months; and

(b) the bitch gives birth to a litter of puppies at any time during that period,

he shall be treated as carrying on a business of breeding dogs for sale at the premises throughout the period if a total of four or more other litters is born during the period to bitches falling within subsection (4) of this section.

(4) The bitches falling within this subsection are—

(a) the bitch mentioned in subsection (3)(a) and (b) of this section and any other bitches kept by the person at the premises at any time during the period;

(b) any bitches kept by any relative of his at the premises at any such time;

(c) any bitches kept by him elsewhere at any such time; and

(d) any bitches kept (anywhere) by any person at any such time under a breeding arrangement made with him.

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