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Becoming a Registered Breeding Establishment

This is a quick guide to help you understand the process of being Registered Breeding Establishment (RBE) in Ireland, and the some background about the laws. This is a different requirement to being a Registered Seller of dogs. It’s also important to note that Register Sellers are administered by the Department of Agriculture on a state level while Registered Breeding Establishments are managed on the local level with the local councils.

The provisions for this are based around the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010. More about the various laws around dogs ownership, dog breeding, dog microchipping can be seen here. We encourage you to read this before applying for your licence.

The main part of this states that anyone or business that maintains 6 or more female dogs, over the age of 6 months old, and can be used for breeding (e.g. non neutered or elderly dogs) is required to apply for a license.

“dog breeding establishment” means a premises at which bitches are kept, not less than 6 of which are—

(a) more than 6 months old, and

(b) capable of being used for breeding purposes,

The act states that breeders this size and above need to be registered. There are a number of other provisions around recording of sales, number of staff required, animal welfare etc. but the starting point to be required to register is having 6 or more breeding females. Boarding kennels that could house 6 or more female dogs are also required to register.

Applying to be a RBE

The act states that these breeders need to apply for a licence with their local authority.

“local authority” means—

(a) a city council, or (b) a county council;

Your local city council or county council is the next port of call, to get an application form. This application comes with a fee, dependant on the number of dogs you are going to be licensed for. This covers the administration and inspection costs. In many cases you can download this form from their website.

The application form asks about details of the dogs you breed, the types of accommodation you will offer (indoor, outdoor, exercise, etc.), a site layout of your premises and details of planning permission sought.

Your premises will need to be inspected before you can be issued a licence. If successful you will be issued an RBE certificate that will show your name and / or business name, the licence details and the maximum number of bitches of age you are allowed to house. The licence number is legally required to be listed in all of your adverts both online and offline.

RBE annual licence fees

Currently the annual licence fee is based on the number of breeding bitches you have on your premises. Here is a typical schedule of these license fees

  • 6-18 breeding bitches : €400
  • 19-30 breeding bitches : €800
  • 31-100 breeding bitches : €1,600
  • 101-200 breeding bitches : €3,000
  • 200+ breeding bitches: €3,000 + €1,600 for every 100 bitches in excess of 200

Source : Waterford Country Council RBE application form

Resources for breeding establishments

Via the The Department of Agriculture

A 20 page guide for DBEs from the Department of Agriculture. It is in 2 parts,

  • Part 1 – construction and maintenance of a Dog Breeding Establishment. (Kennel sizes, temperature, Food and Chemical storage, etc.)
  • Part 2 – operation and management of a Dog Breeding Establishment on a day to day basis (Animal care, Exercise, Habituation & Socialisation, Records, Veterinary care, etc.)
  • Annex 1 – Transportation of dogs.
  • Annex 2 – Sizing requirements for pens and exercise areas.

Source https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/7d9fcf-dog-breeding-establishment-guidelines-2018/

Updated on October 7, 2021

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