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Animal Health Team
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Plymouth City Council
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The keeping and running of animal boarding establishments (catteries and kennels) is controlled by the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.
No person may keep a boarding establishment for animals without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority.
Licensing of animal boarding establishments
Application for a licence must be made to the Local Authority and a licence may be issued if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following Acts:
- The Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963
- The Pet Animals Act 1951
- The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
- The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934
There is an application fee which must be paid at the time an application is made. Currently the fee is £154.
Where a licence is granted that licence and any subsequent licence will expire after 24 months on 31 December of the following year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before that date if the licence holder is to continue to keep the animal(s) named on the licence.
Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Council's Licensing Inspector:
- that the animals will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable in respect of construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperatures, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
- that animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding materials, adequately exercised, and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals
- that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious or contagious diseases, including the provision of adequate isolation facilities
- that appropriate measures will be taken to protect the animals in case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable fire fighting equipment
- that a register containing a description of any animal received into the establishment, the date of arrival and departure, and the name and address of the owner will be kept, and that the register will be available for inspection at all times by a Licensing Inspector or by a Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner authorised by the Council
- a licence may be refused or withheld on other grounds if those grounds are such that conditions were not suitable for the boarding of animals
- each licence issued is subject to standard conditions that are imposed on all animal boarding establishments licensed by the Council
- in addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises
Your right of appeal
Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Courts who may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.
Offences and penalties
The following offences and penalties apply to the keeping of animal boarding establishment:
- anybody found guilty of keeping an animal boarding establishment without a licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £500 or to three months imprisonment or both
- anybody found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of their licences may be subject to a fine not exceeding £500 or to three months imprisonment or both
- anybody found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector, or authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner in the exercising of their powers of entry may be fined up to a maximum of £500
- If found guilty under this Act, the defendant's licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping an animal boarding establishment for such length of time the Court thinks fit
In addition to the links and online services available from this website you may also apply for a boarding animal license using the Business Link website
Target completion time
Once we have received the completed application and associated supporting documents (if required) the target completion time is 21 days.
Will tacit consent apply?
Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.
Copies of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 and other legislation mentioned in this information sheet can be purchased from the Office of Public Sector Information.
A copy of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 can be inspected at the Council Offices where you may also obtain a copy of the Council's standard licensing conditions, an application form and further help or advice. Alternatively, please download a copy of the application form below:
Payment for this licence can be received by cheque in the post or by credit/debit card over the telephone, please contact 01752 304147 and have your card details ready.