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Are dog groomers allowed to stay open

Pet professionals confused by latest lockdown guidance

4th November 2020


By Justine Thompson

The Canine & Feline Sector Group (CFSG) has updated its guidance to pet trades in the light of the second English lockdown. Dog groomers and boarders have been left confused about whether they can remain open or not from November 5, as only businesses and services deemed ‘essential’ are allowed to continue trading under the new lockdown regulations. In the initial Government announcement, pet shops were explicitly permitted to remain open, but dog groomers and boarders were not mentioned. Trade bodies and local councils have been attempting to seek clarification from the Government on the issue, with some businesses saying they will remain open while others have been told by local councils that they will need to close or face a penalty. Now the CFSG has issued guidance, approved by Defra, which says that pet owners can leave their homes ‘for the purpose of caring for or exercising their pet’. It says: “A journey may therefore be reasonably necessary for these purposes, and journeys in the course of business are allowed.” This has been taken by some groomers to mean that they can continue to operate, while others are still concerned about potential fines. Groomer Emma Picknell said on the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) Facebook page: “My local council has told me I cannot open…what do I do now? There needs to be a definitive answer across the board.” While Tara Walker said: “I would say any service provided for the physical and mental health benefit of dogs is welfare, and that would include exercise, socialising, training and grooming.” The CFSG guidance also says that there is a requirement for boarding establishments to remain open to care for the pets of people hospitalised from coronavirus and for key workers, and vulnerable people who may not be able to care for their pets. And it adds: ‘Commercial day care may continue to operate and priority should be given for key workers, and vulnerable people who are unable to make alternative safe arrangements for their dog.’ The same applies to dog walkers. But another confused groomer wrote: “Can someone please write it out in black and white. Yes or no? What constitutes welfare – a few knots or a full on RSPCA issue?” And Victoria Webb said: “Disappointing. I thought this guidance would be much more specific.” The CFSG guidance in full can be found here http://www.petcare.org.uk/images/Images_2018/Coronavirus_CFSG_EnglandLockdown041120.pdf https://www.petbusinessworld.co.uk/news/feed/pet-professionals-confused-by-latest-lockdown-guidance


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