We have two Primary Authority schemes. One relates to pet shop licensing and health & safety and is with the City of London Corporation while the other is with Cambridgeshire County Council and covers trading standards, product safety, fair trade and metrology (weights & measures).

Pet shop licensing and health & safety

Our Primary Authority scheme with the City of London Corporation is designed to help for retailers to get their annual pet shop licence and deal with health & safety issues.

This scheme is exclusive to OATA members and is free to join. It could protect you from unreasonable licensing conditions and shows that you take animal welfare seriously by signing up to high standards. You do still pay your inspection fee to your local authority for the licence.

What’s involved?

By joining our Primary Authority schemes your local council still inspects your shop and gives you the licence. But they have to follow the inspection plan we’ve agreed with the City of London Corporation. That means your local authority shouldn’t be able to come up with strange and outlandish conditions. If they do, tell us and we’ll ask the City of London Corporation to give us ‘assured advice’ which you can then take to your local authority to follow. Unless there’s a very good explanation for the additional conditions, they should be dropped.

Pet shop licences are there to demonstrate animal welfare. By signing up, you can show to your customers that you’re following high standards for animal welfare and you’ve volunteered to do this by entering this scheme. Can other establishments in your area say the same?

Who would benefit?

  1. Retailers with more than one shop in different authority areas.
  2. If you’ve ever had strange and unreasonable conditions put on your licence in the past.
  3. If you want to show your customers that you work to high animal welfare conditions in comparison to your competitors.

Trading standards & product safety

We’ve entered into a Primary Authority scheme with Cambridgeshire Country Council (CCC) for trading standards, product safety,fair trade and metrology (weights and measures).

We are now able to offer OATA members support and advice guidance to help avoid and resolve trading problems and to provide legal support if members face local authority challenge.

The main areas of Trading Standards law affecting OATA members will be around Product Safety and Fair Trading.

If there is a problem the local regulator/authority has to take into account any steps the business has taken to comply with the law, which would include following any assured advice issued by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Benefits to businesses

It’s not compulsory to follow any assured advice given but if you do, the Primary Authority will support you if you are challenged by another regulator. Given the complexity of the regulatory environment, seeking advice through OATA’s scheme can save members’ time and money, provides a good degree of certainty that they are acting lawfully, and gives them an ally if their actions are disputed.

Want to find out more about our Primary Authority schemes?