- Licence summary
- Eligibility criteria
- What the law says
- Application process
- How long will it take you to process my application?
- How to apply
- Can I appeal if my application is refused?
- Complaints about animal boarding establishments
To run a boarding kennel or cattery, 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.
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
Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached. The fees depend on the number of animals and are shown in the form.
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.
How long will it take you 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. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details on this page.
How to apply
- Apply to run an animal boarding establishment. Application forms and guidance notes are available from the Licensing Team
- Tell us about a change to your existing circumstances
- Renew your licence to run an animal boarding licence
Table showing fees for annual licences
Number of licences
| 1 to 50 (new)
|| £310 plus fees
| 1 to 50 (renewal)
| 51 to 100 (new)
|| £497 plus fees
| 51 to 100 (renewal)
| 101 to 150 (new)
|| £640 plus fees
| 101 to 150 (renewal)
| Over 150 (new)
|| £746 plus fees
| Over 150 (renewal)
Plus 3 yearly veterinary inspection fees
Can I appeal if my application is refused?
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 establishments
If you wish to complain that an animal boarding establishment is causing a nuisance, such as noise, or if you believe that there has been a breach of licence conditions, please contact us. If you are in the UK, you can also contact Consumer Direct who will give you advice. From outside the UK please contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
- Contact: Licensing Service
- Telephone: 0118 974 6766