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Animal Boarding Licence

If someone operates a cattery, kennels or home-boarding establishment for dogs then they need to have a licence issued by the Council

Following an assessment of your business by a member of the Environmental Health team, the Council may issue you with a licence to run a kennel, cattery or to provide home boarding accommodation for dogs. The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated at any one time will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.  Licences need to be renewed by the 31 December each year.

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. 

You'll need show that the animals you look after are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation
  • provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
  • regularly exercised
  • safeguarded in an emergency
  • protected from infectious disease - this includes providing isolation facilities

When assessing your business the inspecting officer will have regards to legislation and the current model licence conditions published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

You need to keep a register available for inspection by a vet or other council-approved officer, containing:

  • a description of all the animals you've kept
  • their arrival and departure dates
  • the name and address of their owners

Fines and penalties

You can be fined up to £500 or imprisoned for up to 3 months, or both, if you run an animal boarding establishment without a licence, or don't follow the conditions of your licence.

Your licence can be taken away if you stop or delay an inspection and you could be banned from running an animal boarding establishment.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that East Herts Council must process your application before it can be granted.  If you have not heard from East Herts Council within a reasonable period, please contact us on 01279 655261 to discuss your application. 

Apply and Renew Online

You can apply online for an animal boarding establishment licence.

The application costs are listed below, not including any vet charges.

  • Animal boarding establishments - £265.00
  • Home boarding establishments - £125.00
  • Dog creche / day care - £265.00

We aim to process your application within 42 calendar days.

Public Register

Details of licenced animal boarding  are available on our online Public Register.

Failed Application Appeals

If you are refused a licence, you should in the first instance discuss this with the inspecting officer who will explain why you have not been successful and what works are needed in order to enable the Council to issue a licence. If you are still dissatisfied with the reasons for refusal you can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

Licence Holder Redress

If you are unhappy with any of the licence conditions added to your licence, you should in the first instance discuss this with the inspecting officer who will explain why they have been added.  If you are still dissatisfied with the reasons for any conditions you can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

Consumer Complaints

Depending on the nature of the complaint, we would always advise that in the first instance contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).  If that has not worked and you are located in the UK,  Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the  UK European Consumer Centre.