BBC programme Watchdog covered the pet industry last week, with an undercover investigation of major retail chain Pets at Home.
Following the broadcast, the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) issued a reminder to retailers on the subject of staff training.
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!’
Retailers have an obligation to ensure staff are fully trained in animal husbandry and able to provide pet owners with accurate advice. PIF has developed 12 online ‘Pet Handling & Welfare’ courses which cover biological data, identifying breeds, handling and determining gender as well as correct care information.
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. Industry members may contact Alexandra Baker on 01234 273933; email@example.com for further information or go to www.petfederation.co.uk.