Animal Boarding Establishment Licence

Under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, anyone who wishes to carry on the business of providing accommodation for other people's cats and dogs must obtain a licence. The number of cats or dogs that can be boarded will be specified on the licence along with standard and any other specific licensing conditions. East Cambridgeshire District Council may authorise a Council officer or a veterinarian to inspect the licensed premises.

You may not apply for a licence if you are disqualified from any of the following:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • owning, keeping, dealing or transporting animals under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, or the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
  • Before the licence is issued, the Council must be satisfied that the premises are adequate in terms of:

The following criteria will be evaluated when considering a licence application:

  • 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.

Types of Boarding

There are currently three distinct types of animal boarding business which fall under remit of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963. These are:

  • Kennels and catteries - where the animals have specific personal accommodation and can be accommodated overnight and for extended periods of time
  • Home boarding - where the animals live in the business owner's residential house as if they were their own pets
  • Doggy day care - where the dogs do not stay overnight, and are generally supervised in larger social groups as opposed to separate kennels.

Each type of boarding establishment has specific conditions that they must comply with in order to promote the following objectives:

  • Animal Welfare Act 2006 - "the five needs"
  • Public Safety
  • Prevention of Nuisance (where legally permitted)

More information on these objectives can be found in the animal licencing policy.

Application Forms

Animal Boarding Licence - Download Application Form

Before completing your application, your attention is drawn to our privacy and data retention policy.


New Kennel and/or Cattery £389.00 + veterinary inspection fees
Renewal fee  £389.00
New Doggy Day Care  £389.00 + veterinary inspection fees
Renewal fee£389.00
New Home Boarding fee   £273.00 + veterinary inspection fees
Renewal fee £273.00


Licences are renewable on an annual basis. Each licence expires on the 31 December regardless of the date that the licence is issued. This is a statutory requirement. Completed application forms and the relevant fee must be submitted to the Council before the expiry of the current licence. The Council will send a renewal reminder in September. Licence holders are advised to submit their application in plenty of time to enable the necessary inspection to be conducted and the new licence to be issued before the expiry date. The Council has three months to inspect and issue a new licence once it receives an application. 

Animal Licensing Policy

On the 14th November 2016 the Council's Licensing Committee approved an updated Animal Welfare Licensing Policy to assist all parties involved in this important area of regulation. Applicants and existing licence holders should refer to this document as it provides a great deal of useful information including the standards expected of a modern animal welfare establishment. 

Animal Licensing Policy - 2016

Further Information

It is in the public interest that East Cambridgeshire District Council must process your application before it can be authorised. If you have not received a response to your application within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.

Licensing Department, East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4EE

Tel: 01353 665555

If you are an applicant or a third party, you should always contact us in the first instance if you have any queries, concerns or cause for complaint preferably in the form of a letter with proof of delivery.  If you are not satisfied with the outcome and are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Consumer Service will give you advice.  If you are from outside the UK, please contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Public Registers

Public Registers

Trade Associations

Pet Care Trust (PCT)