Tougher dog breeding licensing to protect the welfare of puppies from back street breeders will be introduced under proposals announced earlier this week.
A consultation is seeking to strengthen the regulations around dog breeding and pet sales to make it easier to identify and take action against irresponsible breeders who pay little regard to the health and welfare of the puppies they raise. This is a particular problem amongst smaller breeding establishments – known as ‘backstreet breeders’ – which supply thousands of dogs to UK families each year.
Animal Welfare Minister George Eustice said: "We are a nation of dog lovers but it is crucial that puppies are cared for properly and socialised in the first three months if they are to enjoy healthy and happy lives.
"We are aiming to reform the licensing regime we have so that smaller puppy breeding establishments must abide by the same regulations and licensing rules as bigger breeders so that the worst offenders can be dealt with more quickly.
"We are also reviewing other animal related licensed activities such as pet sales to address problems associated with the growing trend for internet sales that can contribute to impulse buying."
The consultation will tighten up the licensing regulations for breeders by clarifying existing rules requiring any breeding businesses to have a licence. The proposals will also increase the number of smaller backstreet breeders - who may not consider themselves a business - that will require a licence by making it a requirement for anyone producing three or more litters of puppies in a year.
The consultation also seeks to formalise the adoption of existing model conditions on good breeding health and welfare by making it a requirement of breeders to comply with the conditions and for local authorities to use them.
Claire Horton, CEO of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and non-executive Director of AHWBE, said: "Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has long recognised the cruel problem of backstreet breeding in Britain. The government’s proposals are extremely encouraging, having listened to the important calls we have made in our nationwide campaign to end this unacceptable practice.
"Reducing the number of litters a breeder can produce in a year, without a licence, will ensure that more breeders will be brought under the scope of regulation, which we believe will protect the lives and welfare of more of the vulnerable dogs who really need it. It will also provide greater protection for buyers – those looking to take on a dog deserve to be confident that their puppy has been given the best start in life, and bred by a responsible, properly-regulated breeder."
Local authorities will also be able to better target their enforcement activity by directing less resource at responsible businesses, for example those who are controlled by the Kennel Club’s UKAS-accredited Assured Breeders’ Scheme - which has 6,000 members. This will free up resources to follow-up on reports of poor welfare at backstreet breeding establishments.
For the first time, the consultation will also clarify that online retailers selling puppies should be treated in the same way as high street pet shops by local authorities – meaning they must abide by the same licensing and welfare regulations.
Through the Pet Advisory Action Group (PAAG) – Defra and welfare charities have worked with six major online advertising sites to remove over 130,000 inappropriate adverts of pets where there were concerns about the welfare and background of the animal.PAAG is now looking at broadening this successful approach to other sites, and to educate prospective buyers to what they should be looking out for if they are looking for a pet online, such as if can they visit and see the dog with its mother before they buy and check that the seller is a properly licensed breeder.
New 'puppy farming' plans don't go far enough
New proposals aimed at tackling puppy farming issues won't make any noticeable difference, according to leading campaigner Marc Abraham.The founder of PupAid says: "To really make a difference we need a ban on 3rd party puppy sales so buyers can only purchase direct from breeder or adopt from rescue."
New proposals aimed at tackling puppy farming issues won't make any noticeable difference, according to leading campaigner Marc Abraham.The founder of PupAid says: "To really make a difference we need a ban on 3rd party puppy sales so buyers can only purchase direct from breeder or adopt from rescue."
Marc told Pet Trade Xtra: "Sadly for this country's dogs Government statements like 'smaller puppy breeding establishments must abide by same regulations and licensing rules as bigger breeders so that the worst offenders can be dealt with' makes a complete mockery of UK dog breeding legislation. These laws are rarely enforced, and the 'worst offenders' never prosecuted or held to account in the first place.
"To really make a difference and improve the lives of dogs in the UK we need a ban on 3rd party puppy sales so buyers can only purchase direct from breeder or adopt from rescue.
"Until that happens it's unlikely any amount of new licencing, made worse by local authority spending cuts and reduced Government resources, will ever make a noticeable difference.
"Furthermore George Eustice's comment that it's 'crucial puppies are cared for properly and socialised in the first three months if they are to enjoy healthy and happy lives' completely conflicts with his own outdated legislation allowing/encouraging puppies to be removed from their mums early and sold unsocialised and often suffering from painful diseases by 3rd parties e.g. pet shops and websites.
"DEFRA really needs to step up and prove that we are in fact a 'nation of animal lovers' and that must start from the top."
The British Veterinary Association has, however, welcomed a move to strengthen regulations around dog breeding with President Sean Wensley saying: "It represents a valuable opportunity to improve licensing regulations and ensure all breeding establishments are producing only healthy, well-socialised puppies."
Sean Wensley, pictured above left with George Euctice, added: "Vets see first hand the tragic consequences that can result from irresponsible breeding, as owners are faced with serious and avoidable health and behavioural problems in their new pets.
"We strongly recommend that anyone considering buying a puppy only buys directly from the breeder (ideally a member of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme) or considers giving a home to a rescue dog from a recognised rehoming charity.
"Additionally, downloading the AWF/RSPCA puppy contract, using it to ask the right questions and insisting on visiting the puppy alongside its mother will help owners ensure they come home with a happy and healthy pet."
Jollyes Pet Superstores said it has taken disciplinary action following complaints about a sign in its Bedford branch, which claimed ‘Pets make great Christmas presents’.
Pet Trade Xtra reported last week that the offending poster had caused uproar on social media. Jollyes received about 100 complaints about the sign, which was eventually removed from the store.
The company apologised on Facebook, and its managing director Nick Pollard admitted: "Something like this should never have happened.”
British Veterinary Association president Sean Wensley said it was absolutely right the sign, at the Alban Retail Park branch, was taken down.
"This kind of advert encourages people at a time of year when it's just not suitable. It might be an impulse purchase that they haven't put a lot of thought into, and even if they have, this isn't a good time of year to get a pet because typically it's quite chaotic," he said.
Pedigree Wholesale has been working in conjunction with Vision Apprentices and Nottingham City Council to help local unemployed residents return to the workplace.
A sector based academy was held at Pedigree Wholesale’s Gamston site and 14 potential apprentices attended a one week course which focused on developing the necessary skills to be successful in finding a new career.
The course was run by Anne Parker from West Nottinghamshire College, who stated: “We were delighted to host the delegates and give them a better idea of a working warehouse environment.”
The benefit of this approach is the opportunity it gives to people who may have been unemployed for a considerable time some risk free experience of life in the workplace. It also allows them to decide whether this is the right career for them.
The academy is advertised in local job centres and anyone who is unemployed is entitled to apply for a chance to attend.
Richard Slater, Pedigree Wholesale’s Depot Manager, commented: “This has been a great opportunity to meet some potential new apprentices and as a result of the academy we have been delighted to offer full time apprenticeship positions to two of the attendees.
"We will be enrolling them into the apprenticeship program to make sure we offer them the best possible chance to develop their career in warehousing.”
Joanna Ramsdale, HR Director had the opportunity to spend some time with the academy team.
“It is clear that this type of event allows long term unemployed people the chance to re-familiarise themselves with the workplace and we did everything possible to make them feel at home with us here at Pedigree Wholesale," said Joanna.
"The coaching provided on the course is very comprehensive and a great foundation for anyone wishing to return to work. It’s also very satisfying to be able to give something back to our local residents in the Nottingham area and we will continue to support apprenticeships as the foundation of our commitment to developing talent within our business.”
50% rise in pets given as gifts
Vet charity warns against giving animals as Christmas gifts, to avoid fuelling welfare crisis
A 2015 report reveals a shocking 1.3 million people have received pets as presents – a 50% increase since 2012, new research by PDSA has shown...
A 2015 report reveals a shocking 1.3 million people have received pets as presents – a 50% increase since 2012, new research by PDSA has shown.
The vet charity today urged people not to give pets as surprise gifts this Christmas, as findings from its annual PAW Report highlighted that a lack of pre-purchase research could contribute to pet welfare problems.
18 to 24-year-olds are twice as likely to have received a pet as a gift compared to other age groups.
Pets taken on with no research may miss out on what they need to lead healthy, happy lives and go on to become stressed, lonely, obese or aggressive, says PDSA.
But purchasing pets on a whim is not confined to Christmas. The PAW Report – the largest annual survey into pet welfare in the UK and produced in conjunction with YouGov – revealed our ‘want it now’ consumer culture is evident in pet purchasing with over 4.5 million owners doing no research at all before getting a pet
Commenting on the worrying trend, PDSA Head of Pet Health and Welfare, and vet, Nicola Martin, said: “PDSA is urging people to think long and hard before giving a pet as a gift.
"Our research reflects the nation’s love of pets, but receiving one out of the blue means the recipient is unlikely to be prepared for the commitment they will need to make for the lifetime of that animal. Pets become valued and much loved family members but they are a big responsibility.
"The novelty can quickly wear off if the owner is not fully committed, leading to pets having their welfare needs neglected or even in some cases being abandoned.”
Nicola added: “Many people lead busy lifestyles; and impulse acquisitions mean that some people can be totally unprepared for the responsibility that owning a happy, healthy pet entails.
'Alongside this, the financial cost of owning a pet is often vastly underestimated, with far more to consider than just the initial purchase price. A cat, for example, can cost £17,000 over its lifetime, excluding unexpected vet fees for illness or injury.
'So it is vital that anyone considering taking on a pet spends time researching and choosing the right pet for their lifestyle, as well as considering the costs and time required to properly care for their new family member.”
#PawsFirst campaign launched to tackle the welfare issues
The charity has launched its #PawsFirst campaign, which highlights the problem of rushing into getting a pet without understanding their needs first****.
PDSA’s #PawsFirst initiative encourages prospective pet owners to ask themselves if they are prepared for every aspect of pet ownership, challenging a developing culture of ‘click and collect’ for buying pets. And at Christmas time, this is more important than ever.
“Introducing a new pet to your home requires thorough planning, preparation and time, which you’re unlikely to have during the hustle and bustle of Christmas. The festivities can be very stressful for pets, the noise and commotion can create additional worry for pets who find themselves in unusual surroundings. What they really need is peace and quiet while settling into a new home and routine,” said Nicola Martin.
The charity is encouraging people to speak to their local vet practice for more advice before taking on a pet, or to visit a reputable online resource, such as PDSA’s website, which contains extensive expert information about popular pets and what’s involved in their care.
#Pawsfirst and visit www.pdsa.org.uk/pawsfirst
Hertfordshire-based pet care company Lintbells has made The Sunday Times Fast Track Ones to Watch list.
The company joins an impressive line-up of companies with previous winners including Innocent, Graze and the Carphone Warehouse.
The list is made up of the companies with the fastest growing sales over the last three years and as Lintbells was only established in 2006, its a fantastic achievement.
The company takes a unique approach to researching and formulating its health enhancing pet supplements, working with independent experts such as the Royal Veterinary College to verify the benefits. Lintbells product YUMOVE is the fastest growing joint supplement in the UK and YUMEGA Plus is the fastest selling skin supplement in the UK.
Its products are sold through veterinary practices and pet shops in the UK and online. Lintbells also sells to pet owners in 15 countries and sales are forecast to increase by over 50% in 2016.
Theres huge competition for the pet owners pound with premium pet foods, insurance, healthcare and accessories pushing the lifetime cost of pet ownership to £17,000 for a cat and up to £31,000 per dog.1 As a new entrant Lintbells has had to work hard to establish its position in the market. Now, with a host of 5 star reviews on Amazon and elsewhere on-line, its clearly the case that Lintbells benefits validated by the scientists are being observed in real-life situations.
Co-founder John Howie puts the companys success down to people and products, Of course it all starts with the products. Using the highest quality ingredients and working hard on scientific validation to show they help pets, is core to the Lintbells philosophy. But its the people that use our products and who tell their friends, the vets and pet shop owners who stock our products and recommend them with confidence and of course the great support team at Lintbells that makes all the difference.
The current team of 41 staff includes veterinary experts and people passionate about helping pets. Marketing Executive Charlie Russell says its very much about delivering best in class service,I enjoy working for Lintbells as the ethos that is applied to providing our customers with the best possible products is applied throughout the business, internally and externally. I like that all employees are given the tools to provide their best and all opinions matter and are considered; the environment is very inclusive.
The company is continuing to forge ahead and Lintbells is promising an exciting year with new product launches and innovation planned. For further information contact Lintbells on Tel: 01462 416866 or visit www.lintbells.com.
Within a year of moving in to its purpose built production unit, The Innocent Pet Care Company has received significant European funding which has enabled it to treble its capacity.
Located in North Yorkshire, The Innocent Pet Care Company is best known for its brand of luxury treats for dogs, The Innocent Hound.
What makes this manufacturer different from others is its core values – using British meat which has been responsibly sourced from suppliers, and adhering to welfare and quality assurance schemes.
“People really care about the meat they buy for themselves and it is important that we hold the same values when buying meat for our pets too,” says Chloe Heaton, founder of the company.
“Our meat is carefully selected from farms with Red Tractor accreditation. Our fish is MSC certified and can be traced back to a sustainable fishery, and our Scottish venison is from SQWV certified suppliers.”
Stunned by the rapid success of The Innocent Hound, the team behind The Innocent Pet Care Company found themselves needing to increase capacity to meet demand much sooner than anticipated.
“We have grown very fast in the 12 months since we set up and desperately needed new equipment to expand,” added Chloe (pictured above).
After submitting an application to the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) for a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Capital Grant, a programme supporting SMEs to develop their businesses through the use of biorenewable materials, The Innocent Pet Care Company was awarded a generous grant to support the company in the purchase of additional drying capacity. This is expected to help it achieve a large increase in their turnover this year, develop new products and enter new markets, including opportunities overseas.
“The company uses a bespoke drying process that minimises drying time to produce air-dried treats.” explains Fabien Deswarte, Business Development Unit Manager at the BDC.
“By helping them gain additional drying capacity, the business also hopes to be able to develop further innovative pet treats that fit the company’s ethos and will help them expand and grow.”
Opening the door for own-label treats
With the expansion now compete The Innocent Pet Care Company has been able to open the door to own-label opportunities.
“With so many treats on the market, retailers of all sizes are increasingly looking at creating their own private label products. It is a great way to create customer loyalty and repeated revenue with lower costs and increased profit margins.” explains Chloe.
“Now we have the additional capacity, we are able to produce a range of high quality, air-dried meat treats for other businesses too.”
The company specialises in sausages but they have also developed some exciting new products including ones to help make dogs’ kibble meals more tantalising.
Working with a variety of customers, the business creates unique recipes.
Ken Stirk, Technical Director at The Innocent Pet Care Company, explains; “We have seen an increase in demand for treats with functional benefits and we can include ingredients known to assist with fresh breath, mobility, weight loss and so on.”
As well as the bespoke products, the company offers a range of quality, high meat-content sausages that can be supplied in smaller volumes. These treats are proving to be popular with retailers offering Pick n’ Mix style treat shopping. Flavours include lamb, chicken, fish and mixed game and they can be packed into 100g pouches or delivered loose.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01765 641338.
A 10-year study has revealed that nearly 90% of Labrador Retrievers fed with Eukanuba, together with appropriate care, lived beyond the breed’s typical 12-year life expectancy.
Almost a third (28%) of the dogs taking part in the research achieved exceptional longevity by living beyond 15.6 years. One dog, Utah, lived until the ripe old age of 17 years and 11 months – that’s the equivalent of approximately 109 years in human terms and 30% longer than his breed’s typical lifespan.
The 10-year survey, involving 39 Labradors, was undertaken by the ‘Longevity Council’, a panel of internationally renowned vet and industry experts.
The Longevity Council agreed that the secret to healthy ageing in canines is a careful balance of nutrition, good husbandry and effective veterinary care.
David Morgan, Eukanuba’s Senior Scientific Communications Manager, said: “The ultimate goal of the Eukanuba Long Life Observation is to give owners the best advice on how they can care for their dogs so that they achieve what we call healthy longevity.
"There are so many variables involved in ageing; we wanted to make sure that we gave the dogs a consistent and high level of exercise, husbandry and care, allowing us to really focus the results of the observation on learning about healthy ageing.”
Professor Stuart Carmichael, a member of the Council added: “Nutrition is vitally important but so is good husbandry and good veterinary care. I think it’s important to realise you can’t expect any one of those to deliver long life, you’ve got to really have all three in place.
“It isn’t just about living long; it’s about the quality of life as well. Dog owners want more than a dog that lives for 16 or 17 years, but a dog that lives for 16 or 17 years with a high quality of life. It’s an important mind set to get into. We’re not just talking about living longer; we’re talking about living healthy for longer.”To find out more about the Long Life Observation, visit www.eukanuba.co.uk
The 10 years of observations were conducted at the Pet Health & Nutrition Centre in Ohio, 2004-2014
Tetra introduces New Starter Line Aquarium
Tetra has created the perfect starter package ideal for those wanting to take up fishkeeping as a New Year hobby. The new Starter Line 54L aquarium has everything your customers need to get started including the relevant equipment, feed and care products...
Tetra has created the perfect starter package ideal for those wanting to take up fishkeeping as a New Year hobby. The new Starter Line 54L aquarium has everything your customers need to get started including the relevant equipment, feed and care products.
The Starter Line expands Tetra’s aquarium range to include an entry level price line which will generate impulse purchases as well as subsequent purchase of the EasyCrystal filter cartridges ensuring customer retention.
The complete aquarium set includes:
- A sturdy glass aquarium with the following dimensions: 60 x 30 x 30 cm (54L volume)
- A high-quality, stylish cover with 6-watt LED lighting and a convenient feeding hatch
- Effective Tetra EasyCrystal Filterbox for clean, crystal-clear water – supplied with two filter cartridges
- Reliable 50-watt heater – pre-set to 25°C
- TetraMin complete diet for tropical fish and Tetra AquaSafe water conditioner, which immediately makes your tap water safe for fish
The Starter Line aquarium set is ideal for a simple and safe introduction to the fascinating underwater world of fishkeeping. The easy installation and low maintenance features of the Starter Line are the perfect selling points to draw your customers in. All they need to worry about is personalising their tank!
“To continue on the wave of success after the introduction of our latest Cascade Globe, Peppa Pig and Explorer aquariums we realised that there was a place for an entry level aquarium,`' says Céline Rignault, Trade Marketing Manager at Tetra.
“This led to the opportunity to expand to include the Starter Line, carrying the Tetra stamp of recognised quality and decades of trust. With this we believe that this low investment cost for new comers will attract new consumers to the fishkeeping hobby.
"Furthermore demonstrating how easy it can be to take part, which is why we have launched an aquarium which includes everything needed to get started.”
The Starter Line Aquarium has an RRP of £69.95. For more information about Tetra, visit http://www.tetra.net/en
Happy Christmas from Pet Trade Xtra
Everyone at Pet Trade Xtra would like to thank you for taking the time to read our weekly newsletters throughout 2015. It has been a busy year for the pet industry, which has witnessed lots of changes, and we believe the trade can look forward to a prosperous 2016. Have a great Christmas and we'll see you in the New Year.
Everyone at Pet Trade Xtra would like to thank you for taking the time to read our weekly newsletters throughout 2015. It has been a busy year for the pet industry, which has seen a lot of change, and we believe the trade can look forward to a prosperous 2016. Have a great Christmas and we'll see you in the New Year.
Pets at Home has struck a deal with Gregory Property Group to occupy the balance of space at its new 33,500 sq ft retail scheme under development in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.
Pets at Home has agreed a new lease to take a 6,000 sq ft unit which will include a vets and groomers service.
The ‘Groom Room’ concept offers microchipping, nail clipping, or a full bath and blow dry, with 180 salons nationwide.
Work is currently underway to transform the former car showroom on Bradford Road with the remaining 27,500 sq. ft of space also under agreement to lease by a major goods discount retailer.
Richard Tovey, director at Gregory Property Group, said: “We are pleased to have agreed a pre let with Pets at Home which is a reputable and strong performing businesses that will bring benefits to the Brighouse community.”
Dews Motor Group sold the site on Bradford Road to Gregory Property Group after announcing plans to move its operation into Halifax, allowing it to operate within a cluster area for vehicle retailing.
The retail scheme is scheduled to be completed by September 2016.
Mr Johnson’s has brought out nine new treats to add to the existing four in the Niblets range, which was launched in March 2015.
The existing four treats are selling extremely fast and have been well received by retailers and consumers alike.
The new treat range consists of:
- Three tasty crunchy bar twin packs – in Summer Fruit, Vegetable & Dandelion and Herb & Carrot varieties.
- Three delicious types of salad - Dandelion & Lemon Balm, Herb & Nettle and Rosehip & Banana varieties. All contain wholesome ingredients that pets will love and encourage natural foraging.
- Two wholesome biscuits type treats – Parsley & Fruit rusks; rusk size biscuits that contain natural parsley and delicious fruit. Beetroot & Mixed Herb Niblets; medium sized nuggets packed full of goodness.
- Last but by no means least, two natural crunchy dried maize cobs that can be hung up inside a hutch or cage, small animals will just adore them.
With retail prices between £1.60 and £3.00 there’s something to suit every purse.
To find out more about these treats contact your Mr Johnson’s account manager, call 01476 577 670 or email email@example.com
The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association has welcomed the sentence on Lee Webster at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court last week for his part in illegally importing corals.
“We do not believe deliberately evading the controls that apply to the import of corals should be regarded as a trivial offence,” said OATA Chief Executive Keith Davenport.
“It adversely impacts the conservation in the wild of the species concerned and undermines honest collectors and exporters in the country of origin. It also clearly jeopardises honest businesses which operate within the law. By offering a wider selection of corals and avoiding the costs of legal imports, this type of operator diverts business away from honest traders.
“And this illegal activity inevitably affects the reputation of the whole industry both in the UK and globally.
“Ultimately we have to ask retailers and hobbyists to be very careful about where they buy unusual or hard-to-get corals from. If what’s on offer seems too good to be true then it probably is and, if you’re a retailer, you should always be asking for the import permit number. Buying from unscrupulous dealers hurts the industry and the hobby, and threatens the conservation of coral species.
“We also have to thank Border Force for pursuing this and we will always support them where there is evidence of criminal activity.”
Lee Webster was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
A tiny Yorkshire Terrier from Edinburgh landed himself a stretch in a charity pet hospital after vets discovered his secret passion for eating elastic hair bobbles.
Cooper the Yorkie was rushed to PDSA’s Pet Hospital in Edinburgh by worried owner Lynn Redpath from Polbeth, West Calder, when he started being sick.
Lynn explains: “Cooper is so bouncy and full of life – he loves playing with his toys and one of his favourite pastimes is flinging hair bobbles into the air. We noticed that he wasn’t quite his usual self but we couldn’t put our finger on what was wrong. When he starting being sick, we took him straight to PDSA for a check-up.”
PDSA Vet Jennifer Lee, examined Cooper. She said: “On first inspection, there wasn’t an obvious diagnosis for Cooper and even though Lynn hadn’t spotted him eating anything he shouldn’t, we decided to x-ray him in the hope it would give us a better idea of what was going on.”
Cooper’s x-rays revealed a large mass in his stomach, so vets took the swift decision to operate.
What they found was no less than 22 hair bobbles and a button, blocking the entrance to Cooper’s intestines, which could have been fatal.
Vet Jennifer continued: “Poor Cooper’s tummy was in a real mess. It looked as though he’d been gulping down the string snacks for some time as the bands were tangled into a mass. Thankfully, Lynn brought him to us when she did or he might not have been quite so lucky.”
After the hour-long surgery, Cooper made a good recovery and was able to go home with Lynn the following day.
Lynn said: “We couldn’t believe it when the vets called and told us what had happened. We knew that Cooper liked to play with hair bands… Little did we know that he’d been secretly snaffling them!
”We are so grateful to PDSA for everything they did for Cooper. It’s scary to think that dogs eating things they shouldn’t could result in such a serious operation. We love Cooper to bits and couldn’t imagine life without him.”
Vet Jennifer, concluded: “Pets can easily get themselves in a tangle by eating things that are harmful to them and this is the root cause of so many cases we see through our doors every year. If you suspect your pet has snacked on something they shouldn’t have, it’s always best to take them to see your vet as soon as possible.”
For pet health advice and information, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/pethealth