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Animal Boarding Licence

Changes to the Animal Licensing Laws

The Government has now published updated legislation for animal businesses and confirmed that these changes will take effect from 1 October 2018. Under the new laws, animal boarding businesses (including home boarders and day carers), dog breeders, pet shops and riding establishments will be covered under a single type of licence from that date. It will be known as an 'animal activity licence', with new nationally-set licence conditions for businesses providing animal-related services.


We cannot change these conditions as they are already set in the legislation. Businesses operating with these activities will need to comply with the new conditions, and will be assessed before the licence is granted to make sure they can meet them.


Those businesses operating under current licences will be able to continue to do so until the expiry date of their licence. All applications to renew licences will be under the new legislation.


To download the procedural guidance issued to local authorities, please click on the link below:


Procedural Guidance for Animal Activity Licensing 2018


To download the new licence conditions for each of the animal activities covered please click on the link below:


Conditions for the breeding of dogs

Conditions for hiring out horses

Conditions for the keeping or training of animals for exhibitions

Conditions for providing boarding for cats or dogs

Conditions for selling animals as pets


The schedule of fees and the application forms will be published on this page when they become available.


If you would like to make an on-line payment, please use the link on the left hand side of this page.

The full Privacy Statement for Animal Boarding Licences can be viewed here

Licence Summary


To run a boarding kennel or cattery, you need a licence from the local authority. The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.

A local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises 

Eligibility Criteria


 Persons who may not apply for a licence:

  • a person who has at any time held a licence which was revoked under regulation 15 of the Regulations 
  • a person who has at any time held a licence which was revoked under regulation 17 of the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations 2014(a) 
  • a person who has at any time held a licence which was revoked under regulation 13 of the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012(b)
  • a person who has at any time held a licence which was revoked under regulation 12 of the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010(d)
  • a person who is disqualified under Section 34 of the Act
  • a person who is disqualified under section 40(1 and (2) of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006(e)

Regulation Summary

  A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence

Application Evaluation Process


Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

The following criteria will be considered when the application is being evaluated:

  • 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

Your application will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity. You should contact Planning Reception on 01234 221729 or email planning@bedford.gov.uk.. Your application for a licence will not be approved until the planning issue has been decided.

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.  The target completion period for processing these applications is 60 working days.

Apply online (You will need Version 9 (or higher) of Adobe Reader)



Apply to run an animal boarding establishment 

Tell us about a change to your existing circumstances
Renew your licence to run an animal boarding licence  

Failed Application Redress


Please contact the Local Authority in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court

Licence Holder Redress


Please contact the Local Authority in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court

Consumer Complaint


We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre

Other Redress


Trade Associations


The Kennel Club 
Feline Advisory Bureau
Pet Care Trust (PCT) 
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons