Animal boarding licensing

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

No person may keep a boarding establishment for animals without first obtaining a licence.

Eligibility Criteria

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • 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

In Scotland an applicant must also not be disqualified from working with, using, driving or riding animals, providing services to animals that would involve taking possession of them, taking possession of an animal to carry out any of the activities listed or taking charge of animals for any other purpose.

Application Evaluation Process:

A fee will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

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.

Apply online

Failed application redress

For any refusal of licence, in the first instance, contact the Environmental Health Team.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

Licence Holder Redress

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.