A new guidance document for Environmental Health Officers has been published to help standardise pet shop licensing work across the country.

The new document Model Conditions for Pet Vending Licensing 2013 has now been published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

OATA was one of a number of organisations which worked on the guidance which is now being rolled out by the professional body.

The document seeks to help EHOs by providing standard advice when they visit pet shops each year to consider the issue or renewal of the licence the business needs to continue trading. This is the first time that one document pulls together advice in this way.

“We know from our members that pet shop licence conditions can vary wildly across the country so we were very keen and happy to work with the CIEH and the other organisations, from the British Veterinary Association to the Dogs Trust, to produce this helpful document for EHOs,” said OATA Chief Executive Keith Davenport.

“We look forward to local authorities using the Model Conditions for Pet Licensing when they inspect pet shops at the end of the year. These conditions should help to make sure there’s a consistent standard of inspection across the country. And we’ll certainly be encouraging our members to ask EHOs if they are following the guidance.

“Certainly the guidance leaves little reason for the large variation across the country that currently happens. And if EHOs need any more information on the conditions relevant to fish they can find these on our website and we’re always delighted to help if officers want to give us a ring or drop us an email.

“And, if enough interest is shown in particular areas, we’re also happy to consider offering short information/training days for large groups of EHOs. If EHOs are interested in this then again give our office a ring and we will consider organising something if we can get enough take-up in a particular geographical area.”

Model Conditions for Pet Vending Licensing 2013 can be found here.