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Animal Housing: Cats and Dogs

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 97130, tabled on 4 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to establish a professional regulatory body for the catteries and kennels industry.

Answered on

12 January 2022

The provision of boarding for cats and dogs, including in catteries and kennels, is a licensable activity under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (

This means that anyone who operates a business with the purpose of providing or arranging accommodation for other people’s cats or dogs needs to have a valid licence from their local authority. Licencees must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards and these are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse or revoke licences.

The 2018 Regulations are due to be reviewed five years after they came into force (2023). We are always seeking to learn from implementation and make improvements where necessary. As part of planning for this review, we are proactively working with partners, including local authorities, to collate data that can provide a picture of licensed and unlicensed activities involving animals in England. Key trade associations that exist, such as the Pet Industry Federation and the Canine and Feline Sector Group, will be integral to coordinating input from this diverse sector to inform Defra’s review.