Apparently, the AVA grades pet-selling businesses. This is the current roll of honour (pdf format). As I always say: Adopt, Don’t Buy. But if you must buy, be sure you’re not buying from unethical breeders and pet businesses. Not that this listing is the definitive ethical petshop bible, but perhaps it can help in narrowing down the sodden field.
Grading criteria here (pdf). Apparently, grading has been done since 31 Mar 07, with all shops starting on a “clean slate” meaning all offences committed prior to this date have been commuted, which I find rather unsettling. I also have questions on the criteria and so on, for example this clause:
Automatic D Grade
Pet shops that have been prosecuted and convicted under Animals & Birds Act 2002, Animals and Birds (Pet Shop and Exhibition) Rules 2004, Wild Animals & will be automatically graded D.
It doesn’t say how long the D grade stays nor if the public can find out if a shop was ever bestowed a D or the specifics if it is not permanent.
The nearest is this clause
After a shop is downgraded, it can request re-grading one month after the downgrade. This is to encourage downgraded pet shops to take immediate steps to improve.
Which doesn’t bode well since it does not seem to exclude D graders who got the D for offences committed. A one month lapse is really too generous for offenders to get a chance out of the D-sty. Oh well, at least it is a start. Beggers can’t be choosers.
For updated grading, click the ‘Pet shop grades’ link in the grey box near the top of the AVA’s petshop page,