Council to consider plans to reduce age limit for residents of dog boarding businesses


ECDC - Credit: Archant

Rules which prevent children under 16 from living within an establishment which offers dog boarding could soon be relaxed under a proposal being considered by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

At present, anyone living within an establishment which offers facilities for dog boarding must be at least 16, while anyone who walks boarded dogs in a public space must be at least 18.

But a member of the public who was prevented from running a dog boarding business because of the age restrictions pointed out to the district council’s licensing department that its rules were far stricter than most other councils.

An investigation was launched and a survey of other councils was carried out, with results finding that all 29 councils that replied had less stringent rules in place.

The survey also found that there had been no incidents of dog biting or mauling recorded within any of the 29 council areas.

On the back of the results, the district council is proposing to lower the age limit for anyone living within the confines of a boarding business to be lowered to five, with the age limit for dog walking lowered to 16.

A report, which is due to go before the council’s licensing committee next Wednesday, notes: “The adoption of the proposed amendments to the council’s home boarding of dogs licensing conditions would encourage business and enterprise rather than stifling it.

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“Provided applicants are able to demonstrate they have robust procedures in place for the safeguarding of resident and visiting children at the premises, the proposed amendments are in line with current national policy.

“In the event of any complaints received by the council regarding dog biting/mauling incidents involving home boarded dogs, the appropriate evidence would be gathered and the licence would be reviewed as to its suitability.”

Councillors will be asked to approve a 12-week consultation period, during which members of the public will be asked for their thoughts before a final decision is made.

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