Pet shop owner turned down help after stopping sale of pets
PUBLISHED: 11:41 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:41 08 August 2019
A pet shop owner who has stopped selling animals after more than 40 years passed up an offer of support from his local council to continue.
Alan Raven, the owner of Fido's Pet Bazaar in Hellesdon's Dixon Centre, reached the decision to stop selling small animals after the introduction of new legislation which shifted the expectations on those trading pets.
These changes saw the introduction of food hygiene-style star ratings for pet shops which Mr Raven felt would simply be unattainable for a business of his size, largely due to the level of record-keeping expected.
Mr Raven criticised these changes, saying realistically he would be unlikely to achieve the highest rating and therefore did not want to reapply for his licence.
However, Broadland Council has said it extended an offer of support to Mr Raven ahead of the new legislation coming in, which he decided against accepting.
A spokesman said: "New regulations were introduced by Defra last year, which took effect from January 1 for existing businesses.
"In October last year Mr Raven was sent information to apply for a licence, however he did not apply.
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"Broadland has been working with businesses to enable them to meet the required standards. Mr Raven was offered help and assistance, however, he did not take this up."
Mr Raven 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."
Broadland's spokesman added; "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. The legislation applies to those selling animals as pets from commercial premises and from home."
While Fido's is continuing to trade, it has stopped selling the small pets it previously offered, such as budgies, canaries and hamsters.
In lieu of these, Mr Raven has instead expanded his offering of pet supplies to include frozen animal food and treats.