Pet Firm Fined 30 000

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Pet firm fined 30,000
11th June 2018

By Sandra Pearce
 
A pet accessories company that supplied cushions to an East Riding garden centre has been fined £30,000 after the items represented ‘a serious fire risk to the public’.
 
Rosewood Pet Products, based in Telford, was charged with supplying cushions that failed to meet essential safety requirements as tests revealed they could easily catch fire as well as failing to comply with fire safety regulations as they did not display permanent labelling.
 
Director Mark Bolland appeared on behalf of the company at Beverley Magistrates Court on May 30 where he pleaded guilty to both offences.
 
NOT HOME DECOR
 
A spokesperson for Rosewood Pet Products told pbwnews after the court hearing: “We would like to apologise to our customers for any confusion caused by the marketing of this cushion. It is firmly intended as a pet product and not for home decor and as such, fire safety compliance is not required. 
 
“We intentionally strive to restrict the use of fire retardant materials wherever possible due to increasing concerns surrounding the harm they can potentially cause to animals. 
 
“This product is imported from the United States and is well received by customers both there and in the UK and is wholly safe for its intended use with animals.”
 
CLEAR MESSAGE
 
The court heard how officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s trading standards team had visited Coletta and Tyson garden centre in Woodmansey in December 2017 and saw cushions, featuring the faces of dogs and cats, for sale in the homeware and gift section of the store.
 
The officers inspected the cushions and found they were not labelled correctly and having raised concerns with staff at Coletta and Tyson, the cushions were removed from sale immediately.
 
The items were sent for independent testing which revealed the filling of the cushions were highly flammable therefore posing a significant safety and fire hazard risk.
 
The court heard how Rosewood Pet Products had not included permanent labelling on the cushions to confirm they complied with fire safety regulations as they saw themselves solely as a pet supplies company.
 
The company said the items were not intended for decorative use around the home but for pet use only therefore they claimed the cushions were not required to conform to the same flammability and labelling requirements.
 
The company was fined £15,000 for each offence, must pay prosecution costs of £2,651.23 and a victim surcharge of £70, giving a total of £32,721.32.
 
Colin Briggs, trading standards manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The high level of the fine sends a very clear message that consumer and fire safety are being taken very seriously.
 
“Suppliers must take responsibility for ensuring that all upholstered products they sell meet the appropriate fires safety requirements and are labelled in the manner that the law requires.”
 
“I would also urge people who may be interested in buying upholstered items, such as cushions, to make sure they check the products to ensure they carry the appropriate fire safety labels.”