Animal Boarding Licence

Licence Summary

The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 stipulates that 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 copy of the general conditions are attached to the Application Form and will form part of the licence if granted. More specific conditions may also be applied to home boarding of dogs  and cats.

Eligibility Criteria 

The following criteria will be considered when the application is being evaluated:

  • That the dogs and cats will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times. This takes into account the construction and size of the accommodation, the number of dogs and cats to be housed in it, exercise facilities, cleanliness and temperature, lighting and ventilation provisions.
  • That suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the dogs and cats are exercised and visited regularly.
  • That steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease and that isolation facilities are in place.
  • That adequate protection is provided 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.

Who will be consulted?

All applications will be submitted to the Police for an opinion as to whether or not the applicant is a fit person to hold the licence.  Where the activity is wholly or mainly to be carried out in premises, the Fire Authority will also be consulted.  If a new licence application, the Planning Service will also be asked for an opinion on the suitability of the premises.

What is the fee?

The Fees are on the Fees and Charges web page.

How long will my licence last?

An issued licence expires at the end of a calendar year (31 December).  Therefore depending on when you apply in the year, will determine the length of your licence.

When do I need to renew my licence?

An issued licence expires at the end of a calendar year (31 December).  You should apply for a licence renewal at least 6 weeks before this (mid November). 

Am I committing an offence if I do not obtain a licence?

Yes. If you are conducting an activity which requires to be licensed and you do not obtain the licence then you are committing an offence.

What if I make a false statement on my application form?

If you make a statement which you know to be false or recklessly make any statement which is false you will be guilty of an offence.

What do I do next?

You should download the Application Form and send the completed form to the Director of Development Department at the address shown on the form.  The Comhairle then has a period of up to three months to determine your Licence.

Regulation Summary 

Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 (c. 43)

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

Failed Application Redress 

Please contact Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, using the details below, in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Sheriff Court.

Licence Holder Redress 

Please contact Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, using the details below, in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their local Sheriff Court.

Consumer Complaint 

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,  Citizens Advice Consumer Service (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

Trade Associations 


If you require further information please Contact Us.