The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1 October 2018. These regulations replace outdated Acts, and are based on modern welfare standards. The Regulations include a requirement for local authorities to submit data to Defra each year on the number of licences in force for each licensable activity. The first submission will be required to be submitted to Defra by 31 May 2019 covering the period October 2018 to March 2019 inclusive. Therefore, the Department does not currently hold data on the number of licensed dog breeders under these regulations. Under the previous legislation, there were an estimated 4,950 licensed dog breeders in England.
Breeders of animals other than dogs are not subject to licensing requirements, unless they are in the business of selling the animals as pets. Under the previous legislation there were an estimated 2,300 licensed pet sellers in England, but this includes sellers that do not breed the animals themselves.