DEFRA: Regulation School (2)

by Cat Whisperer — on  ,  , 


DEFRA had numerous responsibilities, but ignored them all.

DEFRA ignored all of their responsibilities and produced legislation that degraded our sector and demeaned everyone in it - DEFRA's bureaucrats were completely out of their depth, had no idea what they were doing and clearly couldn't distinguish between the purpose of a practical regulation and hiding nonsensical bilge within the most bizarre and unworkable rating system ever written.


  • There’s no justification for the multitude of new regulations and no science backing any of the arbitrary numbers.
  • The regulations degraded our sector because no one in our sector was consulted.
  • Apart from their imaginations, the only official source of misinformation was the charity lobbyist front, the Canine and Feline Sector Group who had no experience of and no connection with our sector.
  • DEFRA wrote regulations that did not meet any of their responsibilities and the only objective they met was writing regulations for the sake of filling pages of paper with ink.
  • DEFRA’s bureaucrats exercised no due diligence and no regulation was tested or scrutinised and it appears from the lack of proof-reading that nothing they did was subjected to any professional oversight.
  • DEFRA ended up reducing this sector’s capacity by a third because once the consequences became clear, they refused to admit their mistakes.
  • DEFRA’s bureaucrats refused to deal with any of the problems and tacitly supported the expanded powers and depraved actions they had inadvertantly or deliberately granted to local authorities.
  • DEFRA introduced a rating system based on dual standards of care - But there are not two standards of care in our sector, there is one and the the only person responsible is the business owner who adapts that care to every individual case.
  • DEFRA made our license conditional on forming a relationship with a named vet when almost the entire sector would take cats to their own vets if a problem comes to light.
  • The veterinary industry is no longer owner run or independent and have priced themselves out of most people’s reach and are actively failing to serve any community - There is no regulation that can distinguish between customers who can't afford to return home to a massive vets bill after a holiday, and in other cases the customer is just happy that you did something regardless of cost.
  • In many cases the animals have ongoing conditions, are very old or people aren't insured - But DEFRA are pretending that no business owner can arrange to provide bespoke care in every circumstance.
  • Likewise, the DEFRA brain trust children decided that because vets need a recovery room, then catteries and kennels could use them! DEFRA decided that there was no longer a need for catteries to have an onsite ISO room, when not only does it provide peace of mind, it’s the most valuable and useful room in any cattery.
  • I’ve been to enough vets and seen enough recovery and ISO rooms to know that vets have limited spaces, many mix cats and dogs withing cms of each other and vets do not follow any of the rules and regulations that we’re obliged to adhere to for a licence.
  • DEFRA decided on our staffing ratios - Yet every business owner decides on the number of staff that a business can support and staff numbers are determined by the quality of staff, physical heath and age rather than number of animals.
  • DEFRA decided that they could dictate our terms and conditions even when closed to the public - DEFRA thought their power extended to regulating all free time - But that’s because DEFRA’s bureaucrats have no practical knowledge or experience of any relevant working environment.
  • DEFRA imposed it’s idea of security as 24 hour presence and regular checks, but even vets don’t provide that level of care and for practicality, If we’re asleep or if the kennels are half a mile across a field, DEFRA wrote indefensible regulations because they didn’t have any practical knowledge of the sector.
  • DEFRA ignored the fact that catteries and kennels were built over decades under regulations that they updated without providing time-frames, providing funding or considering the practicalities or costs.
  • DEFRA made regulations that illustrate that DEFRA have no concept of how some building materials are good in Winter or difficult to manage in Summer and they had no idea that ventilation is more important than any arbitrary temperature.
  • Virtually none of the regulations are policeable except on the day of inspection and ambiant temperatures fluctuate throughout the year and during work.
  • Once compliance has been established, there’s virtually no need for any further inspections, but we are all forced to pay random costs that increase every year while providing no tangible benefits.
  • No one has ever asked anyone in our sector if we are licensed, inspected or regulated and the rating conveys nothing to anyone.
  • DEFRA’s regulations turned local authorities into the enemy of local business and tourism.
  • DEFRAs regulations increase red tape and reduces time we could spend with the animals.
  • DEFRA’s regulations threaten the peace of mind of business owners, holiday-makers and the animals in our care because any inspection could close you down and the lead up to inspections causes unnecessary anxiety which the animals pick up on.

DEFRA’s ignorance and failure to exercise any due diligence put well run and successful businesses in the hands of whatever unqualified, unemployed or random applicant that any local authority could find to pass a generic level 2 exam to fill the position - and when it all goes wrong, DEFRA pretend that it’s someone else’s fault and the local authority doesn’t have an appeals process.