Our policies

Canine breeding services

What's the issue? 

In recent years, there has been a boom in commercial businesses offering canine breeding services (CBS) in the UK. While there was only one known establishment carrying out canine breeding services in 2015 it is estimated that the number has risen to more than 300 across the UK in 2023.  

The procedures offered by such businesses include semen collection and analysis, progesterone testing, ultrasound scanning, and trans-cervical or intra-vaginal artificial insemination. Such procedures are often unnecessary and if carried out by unqualified laypersons, pose potential dangers to canine health and welfare through the risk of injury and infection. However, many providers of CBS are operating without Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) registered veterinary surgeons or nurses on their staff.

In 2022, the BVA Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey found that 93% of respondents expressed concern about canine breeding services taking place without the involvement of a veterinary professionals. 63% of vets working in clinical practice considered the irresponsible breeding or sourcing of animals as the most pressing animal health and welfare issue across the UK.

What's our view? 

The provision of unregulated canine breeding services is a risk to canine health and welfare.

There has been a significant increase in the number of unregulated breeding services, such as canine fertility clinics, which operate without any veterinary oversight with potentially serious impacts on the health and welfare of breeding dogs and their litters.

We’re calling for the licensing of establishments offering canine breeding services, a strengthening of enforcement of existing animal welfare regulation, and the closure of the legal loopholes that are allowing unregulated breeding practices to flourish.


Read our policy documents