Animal Boarding Establishments Licences (Kennels and Catteries)

Who Needs an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence?

Licences are required for most commercial catteries and dog boarding kennels.  This is because establishments where the boarding of animals is being carried on as a business are subject to the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 Act.  This act requires such establishments to be licensed by the local council.

For purposes of the Animal Boarding Estblishments Act 1963 Act, an animal boarding establishment is an establishment, whether a private dwelling or not, where a business is conducted for the provision of accommodation for other people's cats and dogs.  This includes the boarding of other people's dogs within your home ('home boarding') for payment, though this Act does not cover the home boarding of other people's cats.

A person wanting to operate an Animal Boarding Establishment within the Test Valley area must first obtain a licence from Test Valley Borough Council.  This also applies where a person is taking over the operation of an existing licensed establishment.

How do I Obtain an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence?

An application must be made to Test Valley Borough Council.  Such licence applications are usually dealt with by the Council's  Animal Welfare Officer.  This involves completing an application form and paying an application fee.

Licences may be refused for certain reasons, if for example the proposed animal accommodation is unsuitable or the  Council has other animal welfare concerns relating to operation of the establishment.  Prior to determining the application, the accommodation will be inspected and the suitability of the person operating the business will be assessed.

A person will not be granted a licence if disqualified by a court from any of the following activities, 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 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.

If/when issued the licence will have conditions attached relating to matters laid down in the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.  Licences must be renewed every year and a renewal fee is payable.  The fees cover the Council's costs for inspection of the animal boarding establishment and all associated administrative work.

Making the Application

Applications can be made by completing a paper form or can be made on-line.

To complete a paper form, please either print off the download and the foot of this page, or alternatively call 01264 368000 and request a form to be sent to you.  Once completed, this can be submitted in a way that suits you best, either by post, handing into the Council Offices in Andover or Romsey, or by scanning and emailing it to

If you prefer, applications can be made on-line at:

Please remember to pay the application fee; applications will not be processed until the correct fee has been paid.  A full list of fees is available at:
(See under the heading for the Housing and Environmental Heatlh Service).

How are Licence Applications Determined?

An assessment will be made of the suitability of the accommodation and the management arrangements in place for ensuring the welfare and security of the guest animals.  More specifically, the Council must be satisfied of the following before a licence will be issued:

  • 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.

Model Conditions and Guidance

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has published model licence conditions for dog and cat boarding establishments.  These are used by the Council as its standard conditions, though in some cases minor deviations to certain conditions may be agreed. 

The Government has also pubished codes of practice for the welfare of dogs and cats.

What can I do if my Application for a Licence is Refused or I am Unhappy about any of the Licence Conditions?

If your application is refused, the reasons will be explained to you and you will have an opportunity to either amend your application and/or express any concerns you may have about the reasons for refusal.  Similarly, if a licence is granted but you are unahppy with any of the conditions, the Council will listen to your concerns and respond to them.  If you believe you have been treated unfairly, the Council operates a complaints process.

There is also a formal appeals process whereby an applicant can appeal to their local Magistrates' Court against the refusal of a licence application or appeal against any conditions on a granted licence that he/she is unhappy about.  If you request it, the process for doing this will be explained to you.

Request Advice

For more information and an application form, please contact:

The Animal Welfare Officer
Telephone:  01264 368000