If you are reading this blog you have probably been into a reptile or aquatic store before! So you know what goes through your mind when you are walking around… Is the shop clean? Do the animals look cared for? How good is the advice you receive? Obviously, we are always thinking the same too, so are the councils who award the licence allowing us to sell animals.
In previous years it was a case of FAIL or PASS, but luckily for the industry new regulations were introduced in 2018 to bring pet shop requirements into the 21st century and introduce a new scoring system, much in the same way the restaurant hygiene stars work.
- All of the 5 main requirements of an animal were already being achieved by us:
- The need for a suitable environment
- The need for a suitable diet
- The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
- The need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
- The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury, and disease
But the councils wanted more – and rightly so – to ensure ALL business were adhering to these guidelines. So a strict set of rules was put into place where all practices and procedures have to be written, recorded and revised on a regular basis.
- These systems were then ranked from 1 to 5 in order:
- 1 star – minor failings.
- 3 star – minimum standards being met
- 5 stars – higher standards achieved.
We are all so very proud to announce:
WE GOT 5 STARS!!! *****
On the day of the inspection, we showed our assessor around the reptiles and fish. We were all quizzed on our knowledge and had to back this up with our written manuals. He was impressed at the amount of detail we had included in our folders, recording of procedures and checklists to ensure everything is being done as it should be.
A few changes had to be made prior to the inspection with how we present the animals to customers. So now, as well as giving the customer all the verbal information they need to be able to care for their reptile and fish, we have written care sheets and labels with bundles of information on.
Behind the scenes, we have numerous folders to record every detail of what we do, including UVB and temperature checks 3 times weekly as well as water testing 3 times a week to make sure our fishy friends are in the best possible environments.
All of the team here are very passionate about what we do, and to get top marks makes all our hard work worth it. Thank you to you, the customer, for reading this and supporting the store making it possible for us to keep doing what we do!