Support is now available to help Pet Industry Federation (PIF) retail members gain their pet shop licence, in as straightforward a manner as possible.
PIF has just entered into a Primary Authority coordinated partnership with City of London Corporation, to support PIF retail members across England and Wales.
The Primary Authority scheme is designed to standardise licensing and ensure that businesses are not subjected to licensing officers imposing arbitrary conditions and wielding inappropriate control over their affairs.
The Primary Authority Scheme was developed by the Better Regulation Delivery Office to help cut red tape. Pet retail members of the Pet Industry Federation can opt in to participate in the scheme at no further cost to themselves or their business.
Chief executive Nigel Baker (left), said: "PIF believes that pet shops selling pets are the life-blood of the pet industry and when it is done well, they are a great place to educate new owners about responsible pet ownership.
"PIF retailers who sell pets go the extra mile in sourcing, caring for and passing on healthy pets to informed new owners, and they are subject to a rigorous licensing system to ensure that pets’ welfare remains paramount. For this reason, we have chosen to invest in a scheme that pays our bricks and mortar retail members’ dividends.
"PIF members regularly turn to their association for help with licensing, and we believe the Primary Authority scheme offers that help. By signing up to the scheme, PIF members opt-in to be inspected against the agreed inspection plan. If members within the scheme have any difficulties with their licence, they can phone PIF for support, and, if the inspection plan is not being followed or is being interpreted wrongly, we will liaise with the City of London Corporation to offer Assured Primary Authority Advice, which the local authority cannot ignore. It should also help get standardisation across more than one local authority.
"The scheme is really simple for PIF members. Just let us know if you’d like to opt-in and we can then sign you up to the Primary Authority Register. You’ll have access to the inspection plan and we’ll supply you with a template letter/email which you’ll need to send to your licensing officer."
The Federation and the City of London Corporation have jointly agreed to use the Model Licence Condition for Pet Vending 2013, published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health as the basis inspection plan, these conditions having enormous credibility due to being developed by a large and representative stakeholder group.
"We’ve chosen to work with the City of London Corporation as they have enormously relevant experience," continued Nigel. "They were heavily involved in drawing up the 2013 MLCs, and his team inspect pet businesses all over Greater London, as well as managing the import and export of animals through Heathrow. Launching the scheme now is ideal, enabling us to ensure licensing officers are fully informed before the next round of licensing renewals at the end of the year."The Primary Authority scheme is open to any current pet retail member of the Pet Industry Federation and does not incur any additional fees for the licence. Further details will be available shortly at www.petfederation.co.uk. Please contact the PIF customer service team on 01234 273933 for details of how to become a PIF member.