One in four pet shops appall vets

Survey finds poor conditions in some British pet shops

source: Felicity Lawrence
Guardian December 5th 2002 p9

The Consumers' Association has reported a survey of British pet shops in Which? magazine, carried out by vets. The vets found that animals suffered dirty and overcrowded conditions in a quarter of shops surveyed. Pet shops are meant to give appropriate advice to would-be buyers on how to care for the animals on sale, in line with voluntary licensing guidelines, but only half the stores were able to do so. The survey covered 42 shops, chosen at random, with 16 of the shops being independent, and 26 shops being part of chains. Three of the stores caused so much concern that Which? reported them to the authorities. Conditions at seven stores led the inspectors to comment that their licenses should not be renewed unless improvements had been implemented. Which? editor, Helen Parker, argues for annual inspections of pet shops, by both vets and environmental health officers, and favours compulsory guidelines.