The information is provided as guidance only and is not intended to be either a comprehensive nor exhaustive explanation of the requirements and obligations under the relevant pieces of legislation. If you have any queries please contact us. Alternatively, you may also wish to consider other sources of assistance, such as independent legal advice.

The Animal Boarding Establishment Act requires any person who keeps a boarding establishment for cats and/or dogs (i.e. a cattery or kennels) to be licensed by the Local Authority.

A licence is also required by anyone providing a boarding service in their own home for other people's animals and any premises providing dog day ‘crèche’ facilities.

The keeping of an animal boarding establishment is defined as:

the carrying on at any premises (including a private dwelling) of a business of providing accommodation for other people’s cats and dogs.

You may not require a licence:

  • If the accommodation is provided in connection with a business of which the provision of such accommodation is not the main activity
  • If cats or dogs are kept on premises pursuant to a requirement under the diseases of animals legislation.

If you are unsure please contact us.

Applicants must not have been disqualified from keeping a boarding establishment. Some of these disqualifications occur under the following Acts:

  • The Pet Animals Act 1951
  • The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  •    The Protection of Animals (Amendment ) Act 1954
  • The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934

Also, the Licensing Authority will assess the suitability of the applicant as well as the premises. A licence may be refused if there are concerns about either.

To apply for an animal boarding licence, applicants must complete and submit an application form and provide the appropriate fee. The forms can be completed hard copy or online.

On receipt of a new application Mid Devon District Council will instruct a veterinary surgeon to inspect the premises. The applicant is recharged the vet inspection fee. The vet and the Licensing Team will check and consider (amongst other things) the following points:

  • 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 licence expires on 31 December in the year that the application is made or, if requested by the applicant the licence may take effect from the start of the following year and expire at the end of that year. A licence holder must ensure that the licence is renewed by 1 January annually if they wish to continue running the establishment.

We have model conditions for all premises and they are available on our website. Additional conditions may be added to the licence if it is felt necessary.

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