Thursday 19th September 2019
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The welfare of all domestic and captive animals in this country is provided for in various statutes and we are responsible for the administration and issuing of a number of licenses relating to animals

Relevant legislation: Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 as amended by the Animal Welfare Act 2006

Do I need a licence?
The Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963 requires any person who keeps a boarding establishment for cats and/or dogs to be licensed by the local authority. This also applies to people who look after other people’s dogs within their home (home boarding).

The act defines the keeping of a boarding establishment for animals as the carrying on at premises of any nature (including a private dwelling) of a business or providing accommodation for other people's animals. The term 'animals' means any dog or cat.

Advice for the public
Check our register, available in the downloads section below, to see a list of current animal welfare licences. Please contact us if you believe an animal boarding establishment to be operating without a licence

What are the conditions of the licence?
The aim of the licensing requirements is to achieve certain standards in the management of the accommodation and to ensure precautions against disease and fire. This is done by attaching conditions to a licence to ensure that animals are kept in suitable accommodation, you can download sample conditions at the bottom of this page.

An animal boarding establishment licence will not be issued if the applicant has been disqualified under any of the following acts:

Other matters to be considered are:

  • whether you will require planning permission for change of use or for building the necessary accommodation
  • the disposal of waste and litter
  • the potential for nuisance to neighbours - for example from barking dogs
  • the health, safety and welfare requirements in relation to anyone you may employ in connection with the business

You can download the conditions for an animal boarding establishment licence at the bottom of the page.

How do I make an application and how much does it cost?
Follow this link to apply online for an animal boarding licence. Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on the 31 December of the year to which the licence relates, and must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue as an animal boarding establishment.

What information or evidence will I need to provide?
Any information required to progress your application will be requested by the relevant application form itself including waste collection arrangements, contact details of your veterinary surgeon and description of your isolation facilities.

However, dependent on the findings of the inspection by us or other authorised person such as a veterinary surgeon, further information or clarification may be requested prior to granting a licence or registration.

Are there/inspections or assessments?
Prior to granting a licence, an officer from the Health and Safety team will arrange for an inspection to establish if the requisite standards are being met.

How long will it take you to process my application?
Due to inspections by our officers and possibly by others such as veterinary surgeon, we say that applications can take up to 28 days to process, ie from receipt of the application to grant of licence or registration.

To find out what tacit authorisation is, and find out if it applies to your application view the download available below.

Apply online
Apply for a licence for an animal boarding establishment

Renew a licence for an animal boarding establishment

Tell us about a change to your existing animal boarding establishment licence

If I’m turned down, how do I appeal?
Any person aggrieved by our refusal to grant such a licence, or by any condition subject to which such a licence is proposed to be granted, may appeal to a Magistrates Court within six months. On such an occurrence the applicant will be advised how to do this when they receive written refusal of the licence.

How long does the licence last, and what’s the renewal procedure?
Where a licence is granted that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on the 31 December of the year to which it relates and must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue operating as usual.​​​​​​​​




 Contact information

Licensing service
Luton Borough Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 546040
Contact us