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Apply for an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence


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.



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.  In Scotland an applicant must also not be disqualified from working with, using, driving or riding animals, providing services to animals that would involve taking possession of them, taking possession of an animal to carry out any of the activities listed or taking charge of animals for any other purpose.


Please click on the link opposite for current fee details



A summary of the regulations relating to this licence



 are 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.

   Advice Notes

Please pdf icon click here [28kb] for advice notes on Animal Boarding.



There are no specific guidance notes for completing the application other than the information given on this page and on the form.



The target completion period for an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence application is 28 days.


Will Tacit Consent 

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.  You can do this by using the contact details below.


   Apply and
  Pay  Online

To apply to run an animal boarding establishment please email

To renew your license please call Mandy Ransome, Professional Support Officer on 01206 508931 or our Licensing, Food and Safety Team on 01206 282520.


    Apply via
   post or in

Application forms which can be downloaded, printed and completed are available  in PDF format by pdf icon clicking here. [245kb]



Licence Renewal

Animal Boarding Licences run from January till December and licence holders must renew their licence each year if they wish to continue to operate as a licensed animal boarder. To renew their licence, licence holders must complete an application form and submit this with the relevant pdf icon fee [66kb].

This can be done by emailing, or by calling Mandy Ransome, Professional Support Officer on 01206 508931 or our Licensing, Food and Safety Team on 01206 282520.



Please contact Colchester Borough Council in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.



Please contact Colchester Borough Council 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.



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 rights - GOV.UK will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.


       Trade Associations

Pet Care Trust (PCT)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons