Pet businesses urged to speak up on animal welfare standards
The chief executive of the Pet Industry Federation, Nigel Baker (pictured), has urged pet businesses to have their say on sensitive welfare issues like dog breeding and the selling of pets during a DEFRA review of the licensiing of animal establishments in England...
The chief executive of the Pet Industry Federation, Nigel Baker (pictured), has urged pet businesses to have their say on sensitive welfare issues like dog breeding and the selling of pets during a DEFRA review of the licensiing of animal establishments in England.
The far-reaching DEFRA consultation is seeking the views of stakeholders on a number of questions which include licensing of all types of animal establishments, the sales of pets, primary authority, dog breeding, inspection schemes and voluntary regulation.
To help it formulate its response, PIF has put together an online survey and is asking pet businesses to take a few minutes completing it in order to put forward their views and ensure that their voice is heard.
Nigel Baker (pictured) said: "This is the first time in 65 years that licensing legislation has been opened up. The consultation offers us the one opportunity to have our say on the legislative framework governing the licensing of pet establishments and we have to get it right.
"We won’t get another chance in our lifetime to raise animal welfare standards and to remove the inconsistencies and anomalies in licensing that the various legal frameworks over the decades have created.
"The outcome of the consultation could have a profound commercial impact on all pet businesses, so I am asking the industry to act now and to spend just a few minutes writing down their thoughts on how they would like the licensing landscape to look for generations to come.
"Your views will then be incorporated into the PIF response, so that it is as representative of industry as possible."
He continued: "The PIF survey is open to all pet businesses, whether currently licensed or not. Most pet businesses will be affected by any new legislation, either directly or indirectly, so it’s vital that they take advantage of this opportunity to engage with the consultation."
Visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZVJCNYC to access the online survey, which will close at 5pm on Friday 19 February 2016.
Trading Standards has taken action against a pet rescue charity which was the subject of a BBC investigation over the illegal import of dogs.
Dorset Dog Rescue will sign a 'Formal Undertaking' for Trading Standards not to mislead consumers over selling dogs.
A BBC 'Inside Out' programme in January 2015 highlighted serious concerns over the welfare of imported animals.
Poole Trading Standards said the charity had "improved" since the programme was broadcast.
Inside Out investigated the charity, run by founder Julia Liddle, for illegally importing dogs from the Republic of Ireland.
The programme, broadcast in January 2015, highlighted serious concerns over welfare issues and showed dogs being imported in vans.
Poole Trading Standards said the improvement found during its year-long investigation was likely attributable to BBC Inside Out's probe.
The charity could be prosecuted through the courts if it is found to be in breach of the undertaking.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has published its findings into a complaint Ms Liddle lodged about the programme.No part of her complaint was upheld in a 51-page ruling.
Pictured: Inside Out showed dogs being imported in vans in January 2015.
Lily’s Kitchen has taken its mantra of ‘feeding souls and enriching lives’ a step further with the launch of a new nationwide charity initiative, called ‘Dinner’s On Us’, which will encourage the nation to nominate amazing cat and dog charities close to their heart who are in need of nourishing meals for the pets in their care.
The company has pledged to donate at least 650,000 meals, the equivalent of 100 tonnes or 100,000 kilogrammes of its dog and cat food over the next three months as part of a wider company initiative called ‘Acts Of Goodness’, the first of many initiatives planned to highlight how successful businesses can be a ‘force for good’.
Comments CEO and founder Henrietta Morrison: “As dedicated pet lovers at Lily’s Kitchen, nothing saddens us more than a pet in need and nothing brings more joy to us than helping less fortunate pets when we are able to.
"There are thousands of wonderful organizations, events, and people in the UK quietly doing great work to support pets in need and we want to recognize and applaud their efforts, so please help us to help them.”
Anyone can recommend a deserving pet charity for ‘Dinner’s On Us’ by visiting www.lilyskitchen.co.uk/acts-of-goodness/dinners-on-us.
Visitors can check in to see the number of meals that have been donated at that given time and view images of the various charities and dogs and cats that they have helped by taking the time to nominate.
Continues Henrietta (above): “These animals are in need of a really good meal, many of them arrive at shelters in a terrible physical state.
"We’re happy that we can do a little to help them back on the road to recovery. Our foods are full of natural nourishment which helps to promote fur regrowth, a shiny coat and healthy skin, as well as helping the overall health of each animal too.
"We know a healthy pet is a happy pet so we hope that by providing a bit of food goodness we can help charities shoulder the burden of caring for animals in their care.”
A combination of snacks, scraps, takeaway leftovers and even booze continues to fuel an obesity crisis among our pets, according to leading vet charity, PDSA.
With new data showing that a staggering 5.5 million* cats, dogs and rabbits in the UK are being fed treats every day, the charity’s vets are warning owners that they could be drastically shortening their pet’s life expectancy.
Owners have admitted to indulging their pets by giving them fatty, sugary, and in some cases dangerous, foods. These include cake, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, chips, takeaway and even alcohol.
To help fight the flab PDSA is today launching its annual Pet Fit Club competition and is inviting owners of overweight and obese pets to take part in the UK’s biggest and most successful pet slimming competition.
- On top of all these unhealthy treats, over 4 million pets (2.6 million dogs, 1.4 million cats and 12,000 rabbits) are fed table scraps or leftovers as their main meals**.
- These diet disasters are taking their toll, according to PDSA, with a third of dogs and a quarter of cats now classed as overweight or obese***.
- Vet professionals predict that the problem will continue to grow – with 80% believing there will be more overweight pets than healthy ones by 2019****.
- Sadly, many overweight pets develop potentially life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as debilitating conditions including arthritis as a direct result of being overweight.
“Pet obesity can be tackled, and through a diet and exercise programme like Pet Fit Club we can transform fat pets into fit pets,” said PDSA Vet Vicki Larkham-Jones.
“Nearly half of pet owners believe that obesity is the biggest threat to animal welfare in the next ten years – yet pets continue to be fed unsuitable diets which is fuelling the problem.
“As well as being high in calories, food like takeaways, cake, cheese, chips and crisps are high in fat and sugars which are bad for our pets’ waistlines and teeth. Some owners even admitted to giving chocolate and even alcohol, both of which are poisonous to pets and can be fatal.
“The good news is that we can make a real difference, starting now. With the right food and regular exercise, it is easy to keep pets fit and healthy. Over the past 11 years, PDSA Pet Fit Club has helped transform the lives of some of the UK’s most obese pets. Through the competition we have helped over 100 animals lose more than 63 stone and encouraged thousands more owners to make positive changes to their pet’s lifestyle. Once again we are inviting owners with overweight pets to enter.”
About Pet Fit Club
Pet Fit Club is a six-month diet and exercise programme, tailored and overseen by expert PDSA vets and nurses. The charity will select up to 12 overweight dogs, cats and rabbits from across the UK to participate.
Owners can enter their pets at www.pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub. Entry forms are also available from PDSA Pet Hospitals, Shops and Pet Hut superstores nationwide. The deadline for entries is Sunday, 6 March, 2015.
PDSA Pet Fit Club was launched in 2005 and has already helped 74 dogs, 32 cats and 6 rabbits lose a total 63 stone 11lb - equivalent to over 400 bags of sugar, 6,500 tins of tuna, 7,000 sausages or four heavyweight boxers.
Pet obesity – The facts
Pet treats – The facts
- Over 5.5 million pets - more than 3.3 million dogs, 2 million cats and 168,000 rabbits - are given daily treats*
- Over 4 million UK pets (dogs, cats and rabbits) are fed scraps as their main meal**
- Nearly 9 million owners give their pets treats because they believe it makes their furry friend feel happy*****
- 88% of owners believe overweight pets have a shorter lifespan
- 60% of owners think overweight pets are less happy
The number of pets fed unsuitable foods is fuelling the obesity crisis. High in sugar and fat, treats are bad for their teeth as well as their waistlines. Some of the treats owners admitting giving, including chocolate and alcohol are poisonous and can prove fatal:
Pet Fit Club participants will receive free diet pet food for the duration of the competition, courtesy of Dechra. The overall Pet Fit Club Champ, who will be crowned at the end of 2016, will win a year’s free diet food and a pet friendly holiday courtesy of www.cottages.com.
Based on estimated populations of 9.3 million dogs, 11.1 million cats and 1.2 million rabbits:
*36% of dogs, 18% of cats and 14% of rabbits receive treats on a daily basis. (9,300,000 x 36/100 = 3,348,000; 11,100,000 X 18/100 = 1,998,000; 1,200,000 X14/100 = 168,000)
**28% of dogs, 13% of cats and 1% of rabbits are fed table scraps or leftovers as part their main meal.
*** Data sourced from PDSA’s nationwide PetCheck tour
**** The survey was carried out face-to face to a sample of 1,127 veterinary professionals, including vets, vet nurses, veterinary care assistants, and vet and veterinary nursing students. Figures are not weighted. In addition, a survey was carried out online through an open link. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18 September and 10 October 2014. Total sample size was 572 veterinary professionals.
80% of veterinary professionals believe there will be more overweight pets than healthy weight pets in the five years’ time.
*****39% of dogs, 43% of cats and 36% of rabbit owners surveyed give their pets treats because they believe it makes them feel happy.
Pet product buyers from Spain and Finland, together with garden product buyers from Dubai, the US and France, have confirmed they will be attending the next ‘Meet the Buyers’ event being staged by the PetQuip and Gardenex export associations.
The event will be held on Wednesday, March 2, at Lea Marston Hotel, Sutton Coldfield.
It is the latest in a series of highly successful ‘Meet the Buyers’ initiatives organised by the two associations, and will run alongside a number of free seminars and information desks involving UKTI, UKEF and export related particpants covering topics such as export finance, shipping, and finding distributors and agents in North America.
As an added benefit for UK suppliers there will be presentations on the key US and European markets, and the workshop aspect of the day will offer help to enable SMEs to make the most of global opportunities in the garden, leisure and pet sectors.
This latest initiative from PetQuip and Gardenex is supported and part-funded by UK Trade & Investment, making it a very cost-effective way for suppliers to meet with key buyers from leading overseas markets.
The international pet product buyers are:
- A long-established Spanish importer/distributor/wholesaler of pet products that supplies independent pet shops and chains. The company’s portfolio embraces pet foods and a broad range of accessories for dogs and cats, along with equipment for small mammals, reptiles, fish and caged birds. In addition to supplying independent pet shops and pet chains, the company has a cash and carry store in Barcelona. The company is currently working with many well-known European brands and is already importing from the UK. The buyer is looking to add to his range and is particularly keen to meet suppliers of pet treats and biscuits. The company exhibits at the Spanish pet trade fair Iberzoo.
- A chain of around 30 pet shop franchises from Finland. The company also operates a wholesale company which supplies its own shops and other retailers.The stores sell food, pet care products and all types of accessories for dogs, cats, small mammals, reptiles, birds and aquarium fish. In addition, the company has an online shop selling direct to consumers. The buyer is looking for new items for both the pet chain and the wholesale company, and is interested in meeting suppliers of any pet items that do not already have a distributor in Finland. Products that will be of interest include new cat and dog food ranges that are grain free, wet food for cats, meaty treats for dogs and cats and new items for rodents.
The international garden product buyers travelling to the UK to meet with British suppliers are:
- A retailer from Dubai that is now looking to expand its activities by setting up distribution across the GCC states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and across the UAE – as well as India. Targets will be leading retailers such as supermarkets, mega-stores, department stores and hardware and other garden-related retailers as well as landscaping companies. The company is now looking for additional garden and landscape-related products suitable for distribution to the Middle East markets. Potential innovative items to sell via its own retail outlet will also be of interest. The buyer’s company stocks a wide range of garden, outdoor leisure and landscaping items and operates a continuous programme of new product introductions.
- A US web store and mail-order operation that has a philosophy of sourcing and selling unique tools and other practical accessories of ‘exceptional quality and solid value’. The company’s focus is on tools, not only for gardening but also for woodworking, DIY, craft and model-making. The gardening range extends beyond tools to accessories of striking quality that have something different to offer the consumer. This currently includes items such as gloves, watering-cans, irrigation equipment, thermometers, harvesting-bags and glass-blown bird-feeders.
- A French distributor of practical supplies to the professional horticultural sector. The company sells a range of over 3,500 items via its online shop and printed 116-page catalogue. Its customers include professional gardeners, groundsmen and plant nurseries, in addition to forestry and vineyard operations. In recent years the company has also attracted interest from keen amateur gardeners looking for quality tools and equipment, and currently handles all types of gardening and horticultural tools, cutting and pruning tools, together with some powered items. It also covers many other practical accessories such as bulb planters, pots, border-edging, watering equipment, plant-labels, pH meters and thermometers, insect/pest repellents/traps and protective clothing.
‘Meet the Buyers’ events held by the two associations over many years have all resulted in export business for attending delegates.
To ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply for 25 minute one-to-one meetings with any of the buyers on March 2 contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Exciting new Henry Wag launches from 3P Enterprise
3P Enterprise, the pet accessories manufacturer and distributor, is set to strengthen its offering under the Henry Wag brand with the launch of a range of new products to help pets and their owners...
3P Enterprise, the pet accessories manufacturer and distributor, is set to strengthen its offering under the Henry Wag brand with the launch of a range of new products to help pets and their owners.
Now in its 15th year of trading, 3P Enterprise has been working with manufacturers to develop a range of premium quality, practical products designed to improve the health and wellbeing of pets and simplify pet ownership. The focus on health and wellbeing and the development of these new products under the Henry Wag brand represents a new phase in the growth of the 3P Enterprise.
“After the success of the Elevated Bed, we recognise there is an opportunity grow the Henry Wag brand through product innovation,” comments 3P director Grant Rogers.
“By understanding our customers and their needs we have been able to design a range of products which improve a pet’s health and wellbeing and make caring for your pet easier.”
Under the new program, the Elevated Dog Bed will be relaunched with an improved frame and fabric construction, but will retain the benefits of a solid board base to promote a healthy flat sleeping position, supporting the dog’s back and hips. The design makes it easy for the owner to clean around the bed.
Preparing for the launch at PATS in Sandown, 3P will also be unveiling a range of Henry Wag travel accessories and summer products conceived to promote outdoor activities and increase vitality in both pets and owners.
To date 3P has focused on the product range available from its overseas suppliers, and whilst 3P has sole distribution agreements on many items, often these products are developed for the US market, which do not always meet the needs and requirements of European consumers.
With their experience in the pet industry and in product design the range of products have been developed by 3P specifically to meet the needs of the British and European markets.
Buyers can experience the 3P’s new focus on health, happiness and ease of ownership at PATS Sandown Stand M11.
Pet owners more likely to find a partner on a dog walk
Research from dog-lovers community website DogBuddy.com reveals that if you want to meet someone the good old fashioned way this Valentine’s Day, your best chances are with man’s (or woman’s) best friend by your side...
Research from dog-lovers community website DogBuddy.com reveals that if you want to meet someone the good old fashioned way this Valentine’s Day, your best chances are with man’s (or woman’s) best friend by your side.
The recent survey of dog owners in the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany exposes that over 50% of Europeans find people more attractive if they own a dog.
According to the survey, 84% of people in the UK find it easier to talk to potential partners when out and about if they have a dog with them, as dogs are wonderful ice breakers, easing tension and creating a more relaxed and approachable atmosphere.
So whether you’re walking the dog in the park or having a swift drink at the pub – you never know where you might meet ‘the one’. And with DogBuddy’s online community of over 200,000 dog lovers, it’s easier than ever before to meet a local dog owner or a reliable and fully vetted sitter.
With 51% of the population being single, having a dog as your buddy could mean the difference between dinner for one or dinner for two. Although it’s probably worth keeping in mind that 42% of those surveyed admit that the breed of dog affects their opinion of a potential partner. So it may be best to hold off on ordering the pasta sharing bowl until you know their thoughts on your beloved Chihuahua.
However, it isn’t just through the more traditional routes dogs can help us find love. The survey revealed how updating our online dating profiles and apps with a picture of you with your dog will also help you meet Mr or Mrs Right as respondents suggest it gives people a ‘softer side’.
Richard Setterwall, co-founder and CEO of DogBuddy, comments: "People often forget the power of the pet. Dogs in particular make it very easy to meet new people - through their friendly disposition and demeanour, they often make the introduction for you.
"I started DogBuddy because I couldn’t find anyone to look after my dog and with man’s best friend acting as a modern day cupid, it’s vital that when I’m away he gets the full care and attention he would get at home.
"Through the free DogBuddy iPhone app finding the perfect dog sitter for your pooch may even be easier than finding love through Tinder."
For more information visit https://uk.dogbuddy.com
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Fire has ripped through a pet shop which was home to a number of exotic creatures — including an alligator.
At the height of the blaze crews from six stations were tackling the fire at Reggae Reptiles in Neath town centre, battling to stop the flames spreading to neighbouring businesses and flats.
Emergency services were called to the incident on Queen Street at around 7.30am on Sunday, with fire crews from Neath, Port Talbot, Morriston, Sketty, Cymmer and Kenfig attending.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known.
She added that one of the firefighters had carried a lizard to safety from the shop.
It is understood that the firefighters successfully managed to stop the flames spreading to neighbouring properties.
Cimla councillor John Warman saw the aftermath of the blaze.
He said: "There was a lot of smoke in town, and a very strong smell hanging in the area. It was obviously a pretty big fire — it looked like it caused a lot of damage.
"The firemen have been there for a long time damping it down."
Reggae Reptiles specialises in exotic animals such as pythons, lizards, geckos, iguanas and chameleons. It was also home to an alligator called Glady — but it's not know if Glady was in the shop at the time of the fire.
A new pet shop is opening in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, next week, creating 13 jobs for local people.
The Pets at Home store has hired to people from the Prestwich area, including the new grooming positions, after receiving more than 500 applications.
Pet lovers in Prestwich will see a groom room open inside the new 6,000 square foot store, located at 474 to 504 Bury New Road, next to Marks & Spencer, on the former site of Carpet Right.
Area manager, Anthony Horner, said: "There was a strong demand from Prestwich pet owners for Pets at Home to come to town, and we're very pleased to have been able to grant them their wish.
"Pets at Home is committed to recruiting from the local area and I'm pleased we've found a team of talented individuals in Prestwich. They're all extremely passionate about pets and can't wait to get started."
Applicants recruited will be given the option to gain specialist qualifications in pet care during their career with Pets at Home.
All colleagues at the new store receive extensive training on pet care and pet knowledge which is endorsed by City & Guilds, providing a stamp of approval that demonstrates the value of its training.
Store manager Adam Wolstenholme has been with Pets at Home for 13 years, having previously worked at the Walkden branch.
He said: "It's been a busy few months and now my team and I can't wait to open the doors and welcome our new customers and their pets to the store."
Pets at Home is opening a new store in Ormskirk on Friday 26 February.
The new, 6,000 sq ft store has created 15 jobs for local people, including the creation of new grooming and veterinary positions, having received more than 180 applications.
Store manager, Sarah Yould, has been with Pets at Home for over three years, having previously worked at the Penny Lane branch.
Sarah, said: “It’s been a busy few months and now my team and I can’t wait to open the doors and welcome our new customers and their pets to the store.”
More than half of animal owners do not understand what registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) do, according to nine in ten vets polled by the British Veterinary Association.
BVA’s ‘Voice of the Veterinary Profession’ survey revealed the vital role RVNs play in practice life, with vets rating the top two most important functions as monitoring animal-patients during anaesthesia (80%) and the medical nursing of in-patients (69%).
RVNs undergo years of training, and must complete at least 15 hours of continuing professional development each year, as well as being registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). However the RVN title is not protected in law and currently anyone can refer to themselves as a veterinary nurse.
The findings from BVA, the leading representative body for vets in the UK, are released as a petition to legally recognise RVNs qualifications and expertise reaches its final fortnight. BVA and RCVS are urging animal owners, who benefit from veterinary care, to sign the online petition to protect the vet nurse title.
Sean Wensley President of the British Veterinary Association said: “These survey results simply reflect what vets across the UK know already – that registered vet nurses’ skills and expertise, in areas including general anaesthesia monitoring and in-patient care, are linchpins of the clinical veterinary team.
"We’re urging animal owners everywhere to get behind the VN Title campaign and help recognise the expert services provided by RVNs within the veterinary team, and their huge contribution to all of our animals’ health and welfare.”
Liz Cox, Chair of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Veterinary Nurses Council, said: “This survey underpins the need for all members of the practice team, including veterinary nurses themselves, to make sure that animal owners are aware of the skills and expertise they possess, the tasks they can perform and the training and responsibility that comes with being a registered veterinary nurse.
"The RCVS and the British Veterinary Nursing Association are currently undertaking the VN Futures project, an ambitious scheme to help the profession prepare for and shape its future, and how we can better promote the profession to the public is likely to be one of its key themes.
“Furthermore, we ask that both vets and veterinary nurses abide by the Code of Professional Conduct’s requirement to use appropriate professional titles for registered and non-registered staff in order to ensure clarity for the public. We would also urge that both members of the profession and the public sign our petition to protect the VN title before it expires on Sunday 14 February.”
A short film animation to raise awareness of the vital role played by veterinary nurses in the care and treatment of animals, and to encourage support for our campaign to protect the title 'veterinary nurse'.
The Lintbells brand is going from strength to strength and now the team are off to Crufts with the aim of giving pets a healthy makeover. The company is reminding pet owners that Crufts also represents a great opportunity to improve the health of their pet.
Lintbells veterinary advisers will be on hand at the event to give help and advice and the company says that it is aiming to ensure that even those dogs that have stayed at home can be winners.
Living with a pet every day sometimes means becoming blind to small changes in their behaviour or appearance. At Lintbells-dedicated Mobility Corner there's an opportunity for pet owners to discuss concerns and receive a recommendation to improve and maintain the health of the pet.
The Lintbells team will be using the show as an opportunity to help pet owners understand how supplements can be used to enhance pet health, especially mobility. There will be lots of educational material to take away, creating demand from future consumers.
Around one in five dogs are experiencing mobility problems at any one time. Pet owners are increasingly turning to supplements to support their pets' mobility and many choose Lintbells YUMOVE, which is now the fastest growing joint supplement for dogs* and cats in the UK.
James Howie, Lintbells Veterinary Director, explains how the company can help. "Dogs that haven't qualified to be there can't come along to Crufts but we'll be asking pet owners to reflect on their pets' mobility and by asking the right questions we should be able to identify whether that mobility, and therefore healthy, active life, can be improved.
"It's important the pets that need veterinary attention are sent to their practice to follow up any concerns and those that could benefit from supplements will receive a custom recommendation and stockist information."
James says that Crufts is much more than an event just for elite show dogs. "Like most vets, there's nothing better than a healthy, happy pet in my eyes and that's what we can help make happen at Crufts this year. A loved family pet that's full of vitality will always be a winner to me."
Theres no need to book an appointment, vets or retailers can just pop over to the stand in Hall 2 to discuss how Lintbells can benefit their practice or store.
* VetTrak Sales Data, MAT Values (December 2015)
Vet charity PDSA has launched its Spring Sale Catalogue with plenty of fantastic offers and discounts.
Whether you are searching for that purr-fect Mother’s Day gift, or on the lookout for a splash of colour to spruce up your patio, there are plenty of great ideas. Plus, every purchase will help raise vital funds to help PDSA vets treat pets in need.
The sale runs until 31 March and with offers such as half price bedding plants and eye-catching accessories to encourage wildlife, it’s ideal for any green-fingered animal lovers. The sale is available online at www.pdsa-shop.co.uk/spring, or you can get your paws on a catalogue by calling 0844 922 3626.
PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, treating more than 470,000 pets annually across its 51 Pet Hospitals. The charity strives to improve all pets’ lives through education, preventive care and emergency treatment. For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk.
Brightside Group has entered the UK pet insurance market after signing up for a six-month pilot scheme with Markerstudy.
The Bristol-headquartered broker will act as an introducer for Purely Pets Insurance, a trading name for Ultimate Pet Partners.
The latter is part of Ultimate Insurance Solutions which in turn is owned by Markerstudy.
Policies will be underwritten by IIC Hannover.
Neil Laird, Brightside head of product development said: "The arrangement is for an initial six month term and will enable Brightside to work with Ultimate to test the product set with our customers.
"Our aim is that, following this initial period, we will push ahead and introduce a full Brightside-branded pet insurance proposition."
Under the pilot customers will be directed to a Purely Pets bridging page from the Brightside website, where they'll be offered quote and purchasing options on a range of cover, including insurance for pets over five weeks old and discounts for multiple pets on one policy.
Laird cited figures showing that the UK pet market grew by 11% to £853m in 2014 but that only 50% and 34.7% of dog and cat owners respectively choose to insure their pet adding that it was "a huge untapped" market.
"We want to offer a wider choice of insurance products to our customers, and we are confident our proposition will appeal to owners who don't currently have protection for their pets," he concluded.
Paul Hampshire, managing director of Ultimate Insurance Solutions, commented: "We're delighted to be working with Brightside on this new proposition.
"We have over 20 years' experience in the pet insurance market, making us the perfect partners to support them in their exciting new business venture."