Animal Boarding Establishment Licence or Home Boarding

The keeping and running of animal boarding establishments (Catteries and Kennels) is controlled by the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.


Who needs to apply?


Any persons wishing to carry on the business of providing accommodation for other people's dogs and cats, even if the premises is a private dwelling, must obtain a licence from the local authority.


Individual conditions may be attached to any licence, however Standard Conditions (pdf 59Kb) apply for commercial premises in all circumstances and there are separate home boarding conditions (106kb, pdf) that apply..


How to Apply

Applications can be made online or direct to the local authority. The online application process is managed via the BusinessLink website and an application and payment can be made by using the link to the right.
Alternatively you can download an Animal Boarding Establishment Application Form (pdf 140kb) or a Home Boarder Application Form (pdf 49Kb).
Requests for an application form can also be made by e-mailing or by calling 01553 616200.
Please note that any application must be sent in with the appropriate fee payment.
The licence will be issued subject to compliance with licence conditions and payment of the licence fee. The fee for a new application is the same as the renewal fee. As the fees alter annually, the current charge can be found here:

Licensing Fees and Charges (pdf 34Kb)


All cheques should be made payable to "BCKL&WN"

Please note: there is no difference in the licence fee whether you propose to run a commercial kennel or cattery or whether you propose to use your private dwelling to board dogs.

What happens next?

Each application received (whether a new application or a renewal) is accompanied by a visit from an authorised officer, he/she may also bring an authorised Veterinary Surgeon to determine the health of any animals held.  This visit ascertains the fitness and suitability of the premises to board cats and/or dogs and the suitability of the premises to board cats and/or dogs and the suitability of the owner, in line with the conditions placed on each establishment.
If the visit indicates that the conditions are being met satisfactorily a licence will be issued.  A second inspection tends to be carried out during the busy season(s) to ensure continued compliance throughout the year, and usually without prior appointment.

Planning Requirements

Your application for a licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity.  You should contact our Customer Information Centre on 01553 616200 to discuss whether permission will be needed.
Your application for a licence will not be processed until the planning issue has been decided.



Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire 1 year after the issue of the licence and must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue as an animal boarding establishment.


Failure or late application for renewal may invalidate any public liability insurance your premises may have.
A copy of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 can be viewed at our offices.
For further information email: or call 01553 616200.


Last updated: 24 March 2016
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