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Animal boarding establishments

    Boarding Kennels

Under the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963 the following businesses need a licence from their local authority to protect the welfare of the animals kept at the boarding premises:

  • Dog boarding kennels
  • Boarding catteries
  • Dog home boarding (Cats are not considered a suitable species for home boarding)
  • Dog day care /crèche (Including at a private dwelling)

You do not need to apply for a licence if you board any other animal other than a cat or a dog but you must meet the duty of care under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. See our animal welfare page.

How do I apply for a licence?

Contact your local authority by visiting the GOV.UK website. Under contract, The City of London Animal Welfare Services Team carry out visits for local authorities across London and the Home Counties.

Licences are valid from the date of issue to the 31 December the same year.

Who is eligible and what fees apply?

​Anyone who has not been disqualified from keeping animals under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 or disqualified from keeping an Animal Boarding establishment may apply. Applicants must pay the required application fee and comply with any conditions attached to the licence.

What happens once I have submitted my application?

The facilities and management may be inspected to ensure they comply with the current Animal Boarding Establishment licence conditions. Applications are then either approved, approved with additional licence conditions or refused.

What can I do if my application is rejected?

​If your licence has been refused or you object to a condition attached to it you may appeal to the local magistrates court.

You may find the following links useful:

Licence summary

The license can stipulate a number of conditions to secure the following objectives and the applicant will need to demonstrate that the animals in their care are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation
  • provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
  • regularly exercised
  • safeguarded in an emergency
  • protected from infectious disease – this includes providing isolation facilities
  • Your council may also add other conditions to your licence.

The City of London supports the use of the up to date model licence conditions as published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)