Licence - boarding animals

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To run a boarding kennel or cattery, you need a licence. The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other conditions. We may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect the licensed premises.

How to apply

You can apply online:

Fees for annual licences

 Number of animals Fee
 1-30 animals (new) £384
 1-30 animals (renewal) £225
 31-60 animals (new) £453
 31-60 animals  (renewal) £244
 61 or more animals (new) £552
 61 or more animals (renewal) £298


You may not apply for an animal boarding establishment licence if you have ever been disqualified from any of the following:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

What the law says

The relevant legislation is the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.

Application process

You must pay a fee when you apply for a licence. Conditions may be attached to the licence. We will consider these criteria when we receive your application:

  • that the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times - we will take account of the construction and size of the accommodation, the number of animals to be housed in it, facilities for exercising the animals, cleanliness and temperature, lighting and ventilation provisions
  • that you will provide suitable food, drink and bedding materials and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly
  • that you will take steps to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place
  • that you provide adequate protection to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies
  • that you keep a register - the register should contain a description of all animals received, their arrival and departure date and the name and address of the owner
  • the register should be available to be inspected at any time by a local authority officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner

How long will it take to process my application?

We aim to process your application within 28 days of receiving it. As it is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted, please contact us if you have not heard from us within this period.

Can I appeal if my application is refused?

Yes, but please contact us first. Any applicant who is refused a licence or wants to object to a condition on the licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court within 21 days of receiving notice of the decision.

Complaints about animal boarding establishment 

If you wish to complain about an animal boarding establishment or if you believe that there has been a breach of licence conditions, please contact us so we can investigate.

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