Litter Limits for Bitches
As from 2012 the KC will normally register no more than 4 litters from any one bitch. This will be effective for litters born on or after 1st January 2012. Whilst the law allows for bitches to have 6 litters in a lifetime, and the KC has previously fallen in line with this , the vast majority of responsible breeders feel that this is too high. If a breeder wishes for a bitch to have more than 4 litters, the KC may grant permission if it believes that there is a good and justifiable reason.
Further information on this topic can be found on the KC Website: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/
The Kennel Club has had discussions with the major veterinary organisations over restrictions on the number of litters born by caesarean section which may be registered from an individual bitch from 2012.
The Kennel Club has confirmed that it will no longer register any puppies born by caesarean section from any bitch which has previously had two such operations, except for scientifically proven welfare reasons and in such cases normally provided that the application is made prior to mating. Refusal to register a third or subsequent litters of puppies born by caesarean section would occur irrespective of whether the progeny from either of the first two operations had been registered with the Club. This will be effective for litter born on or after 1st Jan 2012.
For more information see the Breeding section of the KC website (link as above).
Important information from the Kennel Club Registration Department (info rec'd 15th Feb 2012)
New Litter Limits & Caesareans
In 2010, the Kennel Club announced that it would be reducing the number of litters allowed from any one bitch from six litters to four. This was effective for litters born on or after 1st January 2012. At the same time, the KC has confirmed that it will no longer register any puppies born either by caesarean section or naturally from any bitch which has previously had two such operations, again effective 01 January 2012.
Why has the Kennel Club reduced the litter limits from six to four ?
The decision was made by the Kennel Club General Committee after receiving a recommendation from its Dog Health Group because of concerns that the current legal limit of six litters can potentially be detrimental to a bitch’s welfare.
My bitch is already in whelp as I didn’t know about the new rule - can I register the puppies?
If your bitch was mated at the end of 2011, the Kennel Club has agreed to consider an application, subject to the usual rules on registrations.
If I want to register a fifth litter what do I do ?
The Kennel Club will consider a written request to register a fifth litter on a case by case basis, but only if there are good and justifiable reasons for doing so.
Can I register a sixth litter from my bitch ?
No. Whilst a fifth litter may be considered, there can be no laxity for dispensation for a sixth litter.
What if my bitch is an import and had four litters overseas – can I register any more litters in the UK?
The four litter rule still applies whether the bitch has whelped previous litters in the UK or abroad. Should you wish to take a fifth litter, you would need to make a written request for dispensation.
What if my bitch has whelped four registered litters and I send her abroad – will a foreign kennel club register a fifth litter and if they do, will you accept one of the puppies as an import?
The Kennel Club cannot comment on the registration rules of other kennel clubs. But if the puppies were registered abroad and you imported a puppy from the litter, the KC would accept an application to register the dog as an import, subject to the usual rules on importing dogs.
Why has the Kennel Club introduced a new rule about caesareans ?
The Kennel Club has bought in this new rule after concerns about the welfare of some breeding bitches, and following advice from Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Association and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association.
My bitch has already had two caesareans, can I register a third litter from her ?
If your bitch has already had two litters delivered by caesarean section, we will not accept an application to register a third litter even if this litter has been whelped naturally, save for scientifically proven welfare reasons and this only normally provided a written application is made prior to the mating.
Breeders who register five or more litters in a year with the Kennel Club are being asked to produce copies of their breeding licence, in order to help the Kennel Club ensure that it does not register puppies from puppy farmers.
Breeders who breed five or more litters a year normally require a breeding licence from their local authority and now, in order to continue registering puppies with the Kennel Club, will have to prove that they hold this licence. This is now effective and all breeders who bred five or more litters in 2011 will receive a letter from the Kennel Club.
The Kennel Club will also be entitled to ask for a licence from those individuals who collectively register more than five litters a year from a single address.
Breeders who cannot produce this licence and who believe that their local authority does not require them to hold one must get this in writing from their local authority, in order for their registrations to be accepted. In the event that a local authority should not cooperate by way of appropriate correspondence, the Kennel Club may contact it directly in order to establish that it is satisfied that the breeder does not require a local authority licence for their breeding premises.