Tha case against home boarding

Janet Nunn, Chief Executive of the Pet Care Trust

First published in September/October 2005 Edition

Summer may traditionally be the quietest business season, but at the Trust, as at most kennels and catteries, it's been the busiest. Over the last couple of months we have been conducting a membership drive, surveying pet care businesses across the country, finalising our autumn schedule of events and representing the industry in the never-ending round of government consultations.

In July, we issued our response to the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Bill -the Animal Welfare Bill for those north of the border. It seems overall to be a sensible document, introducing a general duty of care, and for the first time minimum competency standards for pet retailers. We welcomed this, and also asked for minimum competency standards to be extended to the boarding sector. We believe that in order to be licensed by a local authority, kennel and cattery owners should have to prove their competence either through qualification or experience. Just as pet shops are responsible for the animals they sell, so boarding businesses are responsible for the animals in their care. From speaking to kennels and catteries, the vast majority of whom are already committed to high standards of animal welfare, this is a move that they would readily support. On the issue of home boarding, however, the Scottish bill was less encouraging. Regular readers of this column will have seen how over the course of the last year, the Trust has been developing its policy on home boarding. As we consult businesses, stakeholders and pet owners, our views have firmed to oppose home boarding.

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