Animal boarding licence

Animal boarding licence

Licence for the provision of boarding facilities for cats and dogs 


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If you provide any type of accommodation for cats or dogs, you may need a licence:

Even if you look after a small number of animals in your home, you may need a licence to do this. This includes:

  • dog home boarding licence

  • dog day care licence

  • cat boarding (catteries) licence

  • dog boarding (kennels) licence       

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 replace a number of pieces of legislation and provide for a new single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities.  

There is a licence fee of £150.00 payable on application, 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 in terms of the convictions for the offences listed in Schedule 8 of the Regulations.

Risk assessment

Before we can approve your licence, we will risk assess your home or premises, and how you look after the animals in your care. To pass this assessment, you must meet the conditions listed in the Regulations. Defra have issued various guidance notes.

What happens next?

When we receive your application, we will arrange to risk assess your home or premises. In the case of an initial application and on the material change within a premises a veterinary inspection may also be undertaken and the applicant will have to pay the relevant fee, unless they arrange their own veterinary inspection.

After this assessment, we will write to you to let you know if your application has been successful, and based on our risk assessment, the star rating you receive and how long your licence is for.  If your application is not successful, we will include the reasons why in our letter.

If you are unhappy with our decision

If you do not agree with our decision, you can appeal.

If you do not agree with your star rating

If you do not agree with the star rating we give your business, contact us to appeal this.  

Request a re-score

If you receive less than five stars, we will let you know what you need to do to increase your star rating. An increased star rating could increase the length the time that your licence is for. 

If you complete these actions, you can ask us to return to your home or premises to repeat the risk assessment. This costs £100. Please contact us to arrange.

If we reject your application

If we do not issue a licence, and you would wish to appeal this decision, contact the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) to launch an appeal.     

How long will it take to process my application?

The City Council will endeavour to issue a licence within a period of 28 days of receiving a valid application. 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 department on 0191 278 7878 to discuss whether permission will be needed. 

How long does the licence last?

The length of the licence is determined by their risk rating which takes into consideration the risk of an operator breaching any licence conditions, the impact on animal welfare of any such breaches and whether the operator is already meeting higher standards of animal welfare than is required by the Licence conditions. 


Anyone can apply unless disqualified in terms of the convictions for the offences listed in Schedule 8 of the Regulations

Will tacit consent apply?

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

Importation of Dogs, Cats & Ferrets

To see the latest importation advice from Government on the legislation that is applicable to the importation of certain animals go to Updated guidance on the isolation requirements (pdf 91kb) is available. 

Trading Standards service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH.

Telephone (0191) 2116102.


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