Wealden District Council

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Home Animal Boarding

Home Boarding is an area of animal care that Wealden District Council wishes to promote. The service that these licence holders provide is a valuable one for individual animals that may require personal and consistent one to one care arrangements.

Home Boarding Licence holders are at an advantage in advertising that they are approved and licensed by Wealden District Council. Members of the public are able to enquire and confirm such standards are being met and applicable to any statement made. We would therefore also encourage and welcome applications from dog walkers.

The Animal Services Licensing Officer inspects annually a variety of Licensed venues to ensure they comply with Licence conditions. Premises are also subject to additional checks to ensure standards are maintained. The aim is to ensure minimum standards of welfare for animals, prevent the spread of diseases and ensure the safety of the public visiting these premises.

Home boarding licensing entails self certification on the annual renewal application. Providing conditions have not changed since original issue, the licence is likely to be renewed annually with no formal inspection. However the Animal Services Licensing Officer may inspect at any time and will be available to support the licence holder if required.

Changes to Home Animal Boarding

From October 2018, the legislation and guidance on  Home Animal Boarding. For more information please see our New Animal Licensing Regime page. Licences issued from January 2019 will have to comply with the new guidance.

We are currently in the process of refining our procedures and we will update this page as soon as we have done so. This should be completed during October and November. The information on this page may therefore be superseded by the new regulations and associated DEFRA guidance.

If you already hold a Home Animal Boarding licence with us then you can carry on trading until your current licence expires. Further information will be sent to you later in the year.

Eligibility Criteria

Home Animal Boarding is licensed under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (external link)

There are specific requirements for those wishing to board cats and dogs in their own home. A summary of Animal Boarding Regulations (external link) is available from legislation.gov.uk

In order to apply for a licence you must not have been disqualified from doing so under any legislation relating to animal welfare. You must also have not had a licence revoked under any legislation relating to animal welfare. For more information please read the Animal Welfare Act 2018 Eligibility Criteria (external link).

Application Process and Fee

The fee for this licence is £105 plus any actual vet costs if required.  

For the majority of applications/renewals a veterinary inspection is not required. However, if a veterinary inspection is required, the costs are payable by the applicant/licence holder. The Council will pay the veterinary practice and then we will invoice you separately to recover the costs.

For new applications only, applicants may pay 5% less when making an application. If you do, you would then be invoiced for this amount plus £20 for the additional administration cost, when the licence has been issued.

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

  • 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 vehicles used to transport animals are fitted with appropriate security measures and fit for purpose
  • 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
  • That the animals have and deploy identity discs for all boarding animals. The information having contact details and address of the licence holder
  • That dog owners sign and consent to any animal being exercised off lead or otherwise

Tacit Consent

Tacit Consent does not apply to Home Boarding Licences.

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from the us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

How to Apply

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 come into effect on 1 October 2018 and this new legislation will completely change the animal licensing regime, including the application process.

We are currently waiting for new application forms to be provided by DEFRA. For more information on the changes please visit our New Animal Licensing Regime page. If you would like to apply for a Home Animal Boarding licence during this transition period then please contact us on the details below.

We will update our pages as soon as we can.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' 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 Gov.uk can offer advice on Consumer Protection Rights (external link).

Trade Associations

Dog walkers may also be interested in joining the Association of Professional Dog Walkers (external link) 

Contact Rother and Wealden Environmental Health Service