The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) has issued a timely reminder to all pet retailers about staff training, in the wake of the BBC’s Watchdog programme broadcast last week, which featured an undercover investigation into Pets at Home.
Nigel Baker, chief executive of PIF, said: ‘Although Pets at Home provided a sound defence to the claims made against them in last week’s programme, and have long had robust processes and procedures in place to ensure animal welfare is their top priority, the episode reminds us that all pet shops are open to scrutiny by the public, possibly more so following the BBC programme.
"Husbandry and welfare practices in pet shops are, quite rightly, very visible, but also means that retailers can be more open to criticism if something doesn’t appear to come up to scratch. Not all pet shops are in the position to rebut claims in the way Pets at Home did!’
Pet shop managers have a duty to ensure that their staff are properly trained on a range of animal health and husbandry issues to care for the animals they stock and to advise pet owners with accurate and up-to-date information.
PIF has developed 12 online ‘Pet Handling & Welfare’ courses for pet retailers to help them comply with these requirements, which cover biological data, identifying breeds, handling and determining gender as well as correct care information. The online courses offer people working in pet retail and with companion animals a quick and convenient way to refresh their knowledge and take on new information.
The courses are: hamsters, degus, birds, cats, dogs, chinchillas, rats, mice, rabbits, chipmunks, guinea pigs and ferrets. Reptile courses are currently being developed and will be available online soon.
Courses are priced at £40 each and £32 each for PIF members. Bulk discounts are available if retailers wish to purchase a number of courses for their staff.
For further details contact Alexandra Baker on 01234 273933; firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase the courses, simply visit the ‘Online Pet Retail Courses’ menu item from PIF’s homepage www.petfederation.co.uk.