Animal Boarding

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1 October 2018 and covers the provision of accommodation for other people's cats or dogs in the course of a business.

What is an 'animal boarding' licence?

The legislation requires an animal welfare licence when providing or arranging for the provision of accommodation for other people's cats or dogs, in the course of a business (see business test below), on any premises where the provision of that accommodation is for:

  • providing boarding for cats;
  • providing boarding in kennels for dogs;
  • providing home boarding for dogs; or
  • providing day care for dogs.

Applying the 'business test'

A business is defined in the legislation as an operator who:

  1. Makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
  2. Earns any commission or fee from the activity

The Government announced in the Budget Review of 2016 a new allowance of £1,000 for trading income from April 2017. Anyone that falls under this threshold would not need to be considered on the context of determining whether they are a business.

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) guidance states that these conditions are not the exclusive factors to be considered but are examples and other factors, such as those listed in thenine badges of trade set out by the HMRC are also relevant. The guidance assists inspectors, but ultimately there is an element of judgement in deciding upon the business test.

If you are not sure if you are classed as a business, please email Licensing team ( with the details of your business and we can help determine this.

Last updated: 06/05/2022 13:58:10