If you wish to providing boarding accommodation for other people's dogs and cats in the City of Newcastle, then you must obtain a Licence from the City of Newcastle upon Tyne issued under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963. This includes premises that are private dwellings. However, you do not need a Licence if the provision of boarding accommodation is in relation to another main activity or if the animals are kept because of the requirements of the Animal Health Act 1981

Apply online

Other ways to apply

There is a licence fee payable on application and subject to annual renewal. however, should we require the expertise of an animal specialist this may incur further costs at your expense before a licence is issued.

Anyone can apply unless disqualified:

  • from keeping a boarding establishment under Animal Boarding Act 1963
  • from keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • from having the custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • under section 34(2), (3) or (4) of Animal Welfare Act 2006

The Application Process

When determining the application for an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence, the City of Newcastle upon Tyne will take into consideration:

  • whether the animals have access to suitable accommodation at all times, with regard to the construction and size of the quarters, number of animals kept, ventilation, cleanliness, exercising facilities, temperature and lighting
  • whether the animals will be suitably fed, watered, exercised, visited and supplied with adequate bedding material
  • whether the appropriate steps are in place to prevent and control the spread of infectious/contagious diseases, including isolation facilities
  • whether appropriate steps will be taken to protect the animals in the event of a fire or other emergency

One of the Animal Health Inspectors from the Council will visit the premises to ensure that it complies with the above. In certain circumstances a veterinary inspection may also be undertaken and the Applicant will have to pay the relevant inspection fees.

How long will it take to Process my Application?

If we have not contacted you to make arrangements to complete an inspection within 14 days of your application, please contact us to check that your application was correctly made and received.

The Council will endeavour to issue a Licence within a period of 28 days, however if we have been unable to determine your application in this time a Licence will not be automatically granted due to animal welfare implications.

Planning Requirements

Your application for a Licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity.  You should contact the Planning Authority via

planning.control@newcastle.gov.uk or phone 0191 2115654 to discuss whether permission will be needed. 

How long does the Licence last?

A Licence is valid for one year, and operates from 1 January to 31 December, however you can apply at any time during that period. An applicant can also apply for a Licence to be granted to the next following year.

Licence holders will receive a written reminder prior to the expiry of their Licence.

In the event of the death of a person who is keeping a boarding establishment, the Licence shall be deemed to have been granted to his personal representatives and shall remain in force until the end of the period of three months beginning with the death and shall then expire. We may extend this period on application if satisfied that the extension is necessary for the purpose of winding up the deceased's estate and that no other circumstances make it undesirable.

What Conditions will be attached to a Licence?

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) have provided guidance for those premises operating as home boarding establishments. The City of Newcastle upon Tyne may choose to utilise these conditions where they are considered more appropriate.
Guidance for Dog Boarding (pdf, 2Mb) 
Guidance for Cat Boarding (pdf, 2.3Mb)

Records required to be kept

Licence holders must keep a register containing a description of all the animals boarding at the premises, the arrival and departure dates and the names and addresses of the owners. The register must be available for inspection by an officer of the local authority or veterinary surgeon/practitioner, authorised under section 2(1) of the Act.

Offences and Penalties

The following offences and penalties apply to the keeping of animal boarding establishment:

  • anybody found guilty of keeping an animal boarding establishment without a Licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding level 2 (£500) or to three months imprisonment or both
  • anybody found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of their Licences may be subject to a fine not exceeding level 2 (£500) or to three months imprisonment or both
  • anybody found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector, or authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner in the exercising of their powers of entry may be subject to a fine not exceeding level 2 (£500)

If found guilty under the Animal Boarding Establishments 1963, the Protection of Animals Act 1911, Pet Animals Act 1951, or any offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, sections 4, 5, 6(1) and (2), 7 to 9 and 11 the defendant's Licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping an animal boarding establishment for such length of time as the Court thinks fit.

Animal Welfare Act 2006

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes owners and keepers responsible for the welfare needs of their animals are met. These responsibilities include the following criteria:

  • Suitable environment (place to live);
  • Suitable diet;
  • To exhibit normal behaviour patterns;
  • To be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable);
  • To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

Rights of Entry

Authorised officers of the Council and/or authorised Veterinary Surgeons/practitioners may enter and inspect a boarding premises at any reasonable time.

Right of Appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a Licence or by any conditions to which a Licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Courts who may give such directions regarding the Licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No.  It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it using the contact details below.

Government Review

To see a publication highlighting the current review being undertaken by Government into animal licensing go to Report (pdf 223 kb)

Copies of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 and other legislation mentioned on this page can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office or can be accessed at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/

Contact Details

For further information or clarification please contact the Trading Standards Service, Public Safety, Regulation and Development, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH.
Email: tradingstandards@newcastle.gov.uk
Phone: 0191 2116121

Page last updated: 
19 October 2017
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