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Overview

Contact the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) council to apply for an animal boarding establishment licence if you want to run a boarding kennel or cattery.

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development dardhelpline@dardni.gov.uk
Telephone:0300 200 7840
Textphone: 18001 0300 200 7840
Find out about call charges

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Ballymiscaw
Belfast
BT4 3SB

An animal boarding establishment is a business that provides accommodation for other people’s dogs or cats.

You have to pay a fee for an animal boarding establishment licence. The licence needs to be renewed every year.

Requirements

You’ll need to prove that you have suitable qualifications or experience to run an animal boarding establishment when you apply.

You’ll also need to show that the animals you look after are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation
  • provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
  • regularly exercised
  • safeguarded in an emergency
  • protected from infectious disease – this includes providing isolation facilities

Inspection

DARD may inspect your premises before giving you a licence, and any time after your licence is granted, to check that you’re meeting health, safety and animal welfare standards.

Fines and penalties

You can be fined up to £500 if you stop or delay an inspection.

You can be fined up to £2,500 or imprisoned for up to 3 months, or both, if you run an animal boarding establishment without a licence, or don’t follow the conditions of your licence.