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Animal boarding

Under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, those who run boarding kennels and catteries must obtain a licence. The licence can stipulate a number of conditions to ensure the welfare of the animals.

Please note: There is no provision in the Act to transfer the ownership of a Licence from one person to another. Therefore if you are intending to purchase a currently licensed premises, you will need to apply, pay for and obtain a new Licence.

Who can apply?

Any fit and proper person who is not disqualified from keeping animals may apply.

Is planning permission required?

We recommend that you discuss your proposals with Planning Services to determine whether a planning application is needed.

How long will it take for my application to be assessed?

Once your application has been received, an officer will contact you as soon as possible, and within 28 days. The amount of time taken to determine the application will range depending on a number of factors, such as availability of a veterinary surgeon for the initial inspection and the amount of work required to comply with the licence conditions.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. An animal boarding establishment must not be run without a licence.

How do I apply for a licence?

You can apply for a licence and renew or change your licence online

Advice to Mac users – you may need the latest Adobe Reader (for Macs) to open the GOV.UK PDF application form and use the 'open with' function (control left-click and select Adobe Reader).

How much does a licence cost?

  • £176

How long does a licence last?

One year, from 1 January to 31 December. All licences must be renewed on 1 January, irrespective of the date they were issued. There are no reduced fees for licences that only cover part of a year.

What can I do if my licence application is refused?

You can apply to the Magistrates' Court if your application is refused.

Public register of licensed animal boarding establishments

Suffolk Coastal register of licensed animal boarding establishments Waveney register of licensed animal boarding establishments

CIEH Model Licence Conditions and Guidance