The current licensing system is becoming a “nightmare” for small businesses, particularly breeders and owners of kennels and catteries, according to a leading figure in the pet care industry.
David Cavill, who is the coordinator of the National Register of Petcare Professionals, has written to Neil Parish, Chair of the Environment, Foods and Rural Affairs Select Committee, to ask for a comprehensive review of the 2018 regulations.
In his letter, Cavill describes the new regulations as “a nightmare for many small businesses, many of which have closed as the cost both financially and administratively of the ‘improvements’ required are unreasonable.” Small-scale hobby breeders – which he describes as “low-hanging fruit which have been targeted by Local Authority licencing officers” – have been particularly affected.
The increased cost and administration burden required to comply with the new regulations is driving small businesses out of business, says Cavill.
“Many LAs are also being extremely picky with boarding kennels and the ‘star’ system is a total mess,” he told pbw news. “The biggest problem is the Business Test, and the knock-on effects from LAs suddenly deciding that planning applications for businesses are in order.”
The government now needs to act to review the impact of the legislation and how they are being enforced, adds Cavill.
“The actual review is carried out by a select committee, but I want Defra to be put on notice, and encourage it if possible to carry out its own assessment.”