Audit will ensure high standards of puppy selling in pet shops, claims PIF
The Pet Industry Federation – the trade association for pet businesses – has put in place measures to ensure the highest standards are reached by pet shops when selling puppies.
"With defined and measureable criteria, the PIF Quality Assurance Standard for the Sale of Puppies in Pet Shops is an enormous step forward in the debate about puppy sales," said Nigel Baker, chief executive of the Pet Industry Federation.
"It means the industry now has a unique tool to support retailers and the wellbeing of puppies."
Constructed on the basis of PIF’s Pet Ethics Group puppy sales policy and in consultation with a respected veterinarian, the audit tackles the complex issues involved in protecting the welfare of the puppies.
The strict audit requirements include the systematic checking and cross-checking of paperwork, premises and puppies in order to ensure puppies are:
- at least eight weeks old or over
- are only sourced from licensed UK-only breeders
- are microchipped, vaccinated, flea-ed and wormed.
Other welfare requirements include:
- guarding against impulse buying by including an enforced three-day wait between viewing a puppy and its purchase
- interviewing the new owner regarding their knowledge, resources and responsibilities
- adherence a puppy sale contract
- the retailer will have to have achieved the Level 3 City & Guilds Pet Store Management qualification.
"This audit is now a pre-requisite of membership for retailers selling puppies, and enables us to have confidence that they are maintaining the highest standards in their businesses," explained Nigel.
"Businesses who have not wanted to take part in the audit process have had to leave membership, which is unfortunate, but it was a decision the Board felt necessary in order to set the standard over this high profile issue.
"We believe other stakeholder groups will be encouraged by this initiative, and we appeal to them to work with the Federation to tackle the problems that sadly continue to exist in the marketplace, such as the illegal importing of puppies, the increased rabies risk and the resources needed for satisfactory enforcement."