The well-being of pets is an important matter. The goal of the Ethical Pet Shop Certificate System is to improve the welfare of animals sold or kept in pet shops and to enhance the expertise of the staff of pet shops.
Another key goal is to increase pet owners' knowledge of their pets' welfare requirements.
These goals are pursued by the self-imposed quality certificate system.
Our experts have drawn up care and housing standards for animal species or groups of species sold in pet shops. In these standards the emphasis is on the fulfilling of the anilmal's behavioural needs in appropriate living conditions. Commitment to these standards is the prerequisite for obtaining the certificate.
The animals on sale in a certified shop have living conditions appropriate to the species and better than the minimum requirements of animal welfare legislation. The certificate system also includes written care instructions for pet owners. These instructions are given to the customer at the latest when the animal is purchased.
Only a pet shop that meets the standards can earn the Ethical Pet Shop certificate and the yellow star associated with the certificate. In the certified shop, the welfare of the animals is taken care of and the expertise of the staff is constantly updated. The customer can be sure that the certified shop does not sell wild-caught mammals, reptiles or birds. Animals whose breeding characteristics cause suffering to the animal, or species for which good living and environmental conditions cannot be guaranteed, will not be kept for sale. Nor species, whose well-being requirements are not sufficiently known.
The certification working group initially operated under the Finnish Animal Welfare Association, but in 2019 the Eettinen Lemmikinpito Ry (ELRY) was established for the maintenance and development of the certification system. The board of the association is responsible for issuing certificates and maintaining and updating the guidelines included in the quality system. The board consists of a quality manager, representatives of pet traders, species-specific experts (small mammals, birds, terrarium animals, aquarium fish), a veterinarian and an expert on animal ethics.
In the preparation of the guidelines, veterinarians familiar with exotic pets, animal welfare advisors biologists and members of pet associations are used as external experts.
Obtaining the quality certificate system, a pet shop can demonstrate that it complies with high quality standards in animal welfare.
The certificate offers consumers a way to identify pet shops that give special emphasis on animal welfare and on educating customers.
An enlightened consumer will learn to prefer the yellow star shops.
The quality certificate is requested from the chairman of the board of Eettinen Lemmikinpito ry (ELRY). After contact, the pet shop will be provided with care and housing standards for the species or species groups that are on sale in the shop. The shop owner and staff should familiarize themselves with the species specific instructions and standards carefully. Everyone working in the shop must know the instructions and standards, and commit to following them. If necessary, the shop must make changes in animal care and housing systems to meet the standards.
A representative of Eettinen Lemmikinpito ry (ELRY) will then, at the request of the applicant, conduct an inspection and training visit, during which questions related to the instructions and standards will be discussed. It will be ensured that the care of the animals and their living conditions meet the requirements stated in the instructions and standards. After this, the ELRY's representative will recommend the shop's certification to the association's board.
If you have any questions about the quality certificate system, or have a pet shop in mind that you think might deserve a quality certificate, let us know about it using the contact form http://www.eesp.fi/Yhteystiedot/ or by email addressed to the Eettinen Lemmikinpito ry (ELRY) chairman firstname.lastname@example.org.