ALIKC North – Leeds
Sunday, 13th November 2016
The popularity and success of ALIKC –the Association of Licensed Kennels and catteries- has seen a phenomenal growth in recent months with its membership rising to two hundred existing and prospective licensed boarding establishment owners.
More than sixty delegates and several exhibitors attended the ALIKCNorth conference at the Leeds College of Animal Welfare recently to listen to the high-calibre industry speakers. A key topic was the implementation and effects of the 2016 Model License Conditions for Dogs. ALIKC has been actively engaged for some months with the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) to outline the many concerns of licensed boarding owners around the newly published guidance. As a result, Professor Steve Dean, Chair of the CFSG agreed to travel to Leeds to address the conference and hear first hand some of the concerns. In his presentation on Setting the Right Standards for Boarding Kennels, Professor Dean first outlined work of the CFSG, which is a functioning sector council that advises the Animal Health and Welfare Board England and DEFRA Ministers. The CFSG is respected for its expert advice and recommendations and ALIKC can now count itself amongst those Associations closely connected to it on behalf of all licensed boarding owners.
Professor Dean then explained how the 2016 Model Licensed Conditions for Dogs, are intended to create guidelines for the enforcement of licensing standards and also confirmed that similar regulatory guidance is being prepared for home boarding, dog walking and pet sitting.
Brian Ellershaw of Kennelbuild continued the theme addressing the fundamental issues to be considered including whether the New Build Annex is a set of guidelines or requirements and how they will be adopted by local authority licensing officers.
Conference delegates provided a comprehensive insight into the management of licensed establishments, enthusiastically engaging with Q+A sessions. This allowed Professor Dean and other speakers to understand the depth of concern of ALIKC members. ALIKC Vice Chair, Pam Gee said “size is the key driver for costs of kennel building and we hope to see a pragmatic approach to building control. Going forward, we will be continuing to work closely with the Canine and Feline Sector Group in the best interests of all our members”.
Experienced animal welfare professionals Dr. Jenna Kiddie, a senior lecturer in animal behaviour at Anglia Ruskin University spoke about the importance of ensuring quality of life for kennelled cats and dogs and Wood Green Animal Charity cat behaviour specialist Juliette Jones, presented solutions for the reduction of stress in cattery environments.
Qualified practitioner Jess Guest outlined the benefits of McTimoney technique in helping to restore and maintain health, soundness and performance in animals. Currently regulated under the Veterinary Act, McTimoney Animal Treatment practitioners collaborate with vets to ensure a safe, appropriate and effective treatment takes place. Similarly, the nationally registered Highwood Canine Hydrotherapy Centre provided the closing presentation on the benefits of hydrotherapy in reducing joint stress and building psychological and physical fitness in dogs.
David Passfield, a senior seminar presenter from HR and HSE experts Peninsula explained why legislation around health and safety at work can be complicated but in place for good reason. HR law is demanding and can be challenging for business owners to implement with the potential for smaller operators to fall into high culpability with regard to the new sentencing laws that now place greater emphasis on punishment for deviation from health and safety laws. From the health and safety perspective, boarding kennels and catteries have differing risks and requirements to which they must adhere. These range from hazardous substances, fire risks, fire extinguishers and emergency lighting to manual handling, procedures, organisation and documentation.
ALIKC has now firmly established itself as the representative voice of a growing number of licensed kennel and cattery owners. Membership of the Association brings a number of benefits including the latest information and news from the canine and feline world with particular focus on protecting the future of the licensed industry. In addition, there are a number of special offers and discounts available exclusively to members from ALIKC partners.
One particular example is the launch this autumn of a bespoke insurance policy for boarding establishments that is an exclusive product for members only. Underwritten by A-rated insurance company Hiscox, the ALIKC product offers cover for Property Damage, Business Interruption, Public & Products Liability, Employers, Legal Expenses, Business HR, Personal Accident and Directors Liability at a competitive market premium.
ALIKC membership is available to owners of boarding kennels and/or catteries licensed by a local authority. Retired Boarding Kennel and/or Cattery License holders and anyone considering buying a Licensed Boarding Kennel and/or Cattery may apply for membership online at http://alikc.org.uk/join-us/
Association members definitely appreciate the value of the Committee’s efforts with most confirming they will definitely continue to use the benefits of membership. They feel it’s a great asset for networking and advice and an excellent source of industry information.
The ALIKC committee is made up of a variety of members with a broad range of professional business skills and know-how to benefit licensed owners and the Association is always prepared to welcome enquiries from members who may be interested in supporting the work for the committee.