Hyndburn cattery boss and MP call for Westminster debate on support


THE owner of an Oswaldtwistle cattery campaigned for boarding schools for animals to be classified as part of the hospitality and tourism industry in Westminster.

Craig Dodding is now lobbying Parliament for a change in government rules to open up the sector to more Whitehall grants.

The owners of Rhoden Manor Cattery first became aware of the issues when he applied for an additional restriction grant due to the impact on his business from the coronavirus.

It took him a debate at Hyndburn Full Council to get him £ 20,000 in cash support, though his company’s main customers are holidaymakers looking to care for their pets when away from home. at their home.

Mr Dodding founded the UK Alliance of Catteries and Kennels and followed the advice of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, on how best to raise the issue with the government.

Now her local Tory Hyndburn MP Sara Britcliffe has called for a Westminster Hall adjournment debate in Parliament on the issue, supported by 20 other MPs. It is titled “The Importance of Catteries and Kennels to Our Economy and Society”.

Government rules on coronavirus subsidies classify them as town criers, shoe shiners and burlesque dancers.

Mrs Britcliffe said: “The UK is a nation of pet lovers. But when we go on vacation we want to be sure our animals are well looked after. That is why kennels and catteries are a essential part not only of our economy but also of our society as well.

“I am delighted to support my constituents Craig and Claire Dodding.

“I asked for a debate to give my colleagues a chance to look at ways we can support kennels and catteries in our area.”

Mr Dodding said: “We have fallen into this gap so no one wants to support us.

“The difficult situation we have been facing because of Covid-19 has just highlighted the issues we face within this industry, which is why we started the alliance to finally have a voice.

“We have been luckier than many animal boarding establishments.

“Some catteries and kennels have received absolutely nothing.

‘If we had been classified by the government as a hospitality or tourism business, which we should be as most of our customers are vacationing pet owners, we would have been entitled to £ 35,000-45,000 subsidy to support local restrictions.

“Instead, we were grouped together with town criers.

“It was incredibly difficult and sometimes we only have two cats in our house instead of the usual 40.

“The alliance is keen to keep the pressure on the government to properly support an industry that is really suffering.”

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