A pet shop owner has said that the Animal Activities Licensing regulations introduced last October have forced him to stop selling pets after four decades in the business.
Fido’s Pet Bazaar, in Norwich, was opened by Alan and Lorna Raven in 1977. But now after 42 years, Alan said he can no longer sell pets, reports the Eastern Daily Press.
His local council did offer help, but Alan turned it down.
The new regulations include minimum cage requirements for birds and small animals and far more paperwork. They have meant that the conditions his livestock are kept in – deemed acceptable before – will not be compliant.
He said: “It feels like unnecessary red tape to me. I have been in this trade since 1977, but now suddenly we are not good enough; it is very frustrating. We have now lost our unique selling point. Previously we would sell small animals like guinea pigs and hamsters, and birds like budgies and
canaries, but we have had to stop that.”
He feels the new grading system has set unrealistic bars to reach and that it would be better for him to stop selling animals than risk a low rating.
‘TOO MUCH HASSLE’
He said: “The level of record-keeping expected just isn’t achievable for a business of my size and if I were to be given a low rating for that reason, it would damage my reputation. However if somebody was to start breeding hamsters at home privately, they wouldn’t be put under the same scrutiny.”
A Broadland Council spokesman said it has been working with businesses to enable them to meet the required standards.
He said: “Mr Raven was offered help and assistance, however, he did not take this up.
“We have made no assessment of his premises or activities and he has not been told he could be issued with a licence.
“All existing businesses licensed by Broadland District Council have been assisted if necessary and have achieved the required standards to continue to be licensed.”
Alan said: “Broadland is not to blame for my issues and they have been sympathetic.
“However, it would just physically have been too much hassle to meet all the requirements – it became beyond worth having as a loss-leader.”