To run a boarding kennel or cattery, or to board other peoples cats or dogs at home as part of a business, you need a licence from the local authority. The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.
A local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises to check that they comply with the Council's licence conditions.
A licence may run either from its date of issue or from 1 January next and remains valid for the remainder of the year in which it is issued.
Relevant legislation: Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
The completed application form should be returned to the Licensing Section at the Council and should be accompanied by the licence fee and NICEIC/NAPIT/ ECA electrical certification for the kennels/cattery (not required for home boarding/dog day care).Additional conditions may be attached if the licence is granted to ensure the welfare of the animals.
The following criteria will be considered when the application is being evaluated:
- that the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times. Suitable accommodation takes into account 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 suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly
- that steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place
- that adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies
- that a register is kept. 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
Your premises may be inspected by the Council's Public Protection Officer and/or a qualified vet to establish whether the premises are suitable.
Will tacit consent apply?
Yes - Tacit consent means that if we have not dealt with applications within the target period then the application can be deemed to have been granted/approved.
Applications would normally be determined within 28 days of receipt of all the information necessary to determine the application.
Failed Application Redress
If you wish to appeal against a decision of the local authority to refuse your application you may do so to the local Magistrates' Court. Appeals must be made within 21 days of the date you received notification of the decision in writing. Magistrates' court decisions can be appealed to the Crown Court.
Licence Holder Redress
Please contact your local authority in the first instance.
If you wish to appeal against a decision of the local authority you may do so to the local Magistrates' Court. Appeals must be made within 21 days of the date you received notification of the decision in writing. Magistrates' court decisions can be appealed to the Crown Court.
If you are a customer of animal boarding or a similar establishment, you should first contact the operator, preferably in writing. If that does not work and if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Public registers or databases
For details on the public register please contact us.
Animal Welfare Act 2006
As you may be aware, the law that protects animals has changed. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into effect on 6 April 2007. This Act brings together and modernises animal welfare legislation, some of which dates from 1911. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 will:
- introduce a 'duty of care' on people to ensure the needs of any animal for which they are responsible
- create a new offence of failing to provide for the needs of an animal in your care
- place more emphasis on owners and keepers who will need to understand their responsibilities and take all reasonable steps to provide for the needs of their animals.