To run a boarding kennel, cattery, dog creche, day care centre or to look after other people's dogs in your own home you need a licence from the local authority. The number of cats and dogs that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions. The local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.
Establishments require licensing with the local authority. This is in order to regulate animal welfare standards.
Changes are being made to improve the effectiveness of existing regulations and to simplify the application and inspection process for businesses as well as maintaining and improving existing animal welfare standards. The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
The new regulations came into effect on 1 October 2018.
Licence conditions and DEFRA guidance notes
We recommend that you discuss your proposals with Planning Services to determine whether a planning application is need.
No. An animal boarding establishment must not be run without a licence.
Fees will be payable for applications. Details of how to pay are available on the application form.
Under the new legislation licences can be issued for up to three years depending on the risk rating that is given to the business at the time of inspection and compliance with both the general conditions and the higher standards.
Details on how the risk ratings are determined are available in the Procedural Guidance Notes for Local Authorities on the Regulations.
Please download an application form
All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure the applicant has the following:
Based on the information, we will assess the risk rating and award stars. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, and premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, they can make improvements to address highlighted issues, and ask for a re-inspection (fees apply).
A premises with a lower star rating is not necessarily a premises to avoid as there are other factors that have to be considered, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating. New businesses will be assessed as slightly higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered.
Information on how the length of a licence and the star rating are arrived at can be found in the Procedural Guidance Notes.
DEFRA have produced some guidance documents which will be used by inspectors to aid the inspection process, and there are some ‘optional’ and ‘required’ conditions which may help you to achieve a higher star rating.
If customers have any concerns, please contact the Food and Safety Team prior to making a purchase or making booking arrangements.
You can apply to the Magistrates' Court if your application is refused.
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