News

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  • 12 May 2020 4:15 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)

    In the Prime Minister's address to the nations of the United Kingdom on Sunday 10-May-2020, he indicated the government would begin to ease restrictions to the Lockdown. This advice may be subject to interpretation by the devolved nations Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    The updated advice (11-May-2020) for pet businesses is available to view on the website of the Canine and Feline Sector Group at www.cfsg.org.uk. Click here.

    Please click on the left-hand margin for the link to 'Coronavirus' to access.

    For more information about previous advice and BIGA's reporting of guidance from government, please refer to our earlier post from Tues 7-Apr-2020. Click here.

  • 25 Apr 2020 2:53 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)

    Social media has been on fire for weeks with anxious groomers asking whether they should be open, or remain closed, during the Covid-19 Lockdown.


    From the morning after the Prime Minister’s address on March 23rd, BIGA has actively sought to share with its members, and the community of pet grooming professionals, the latest and most legitimate advice from Government regarding pet groomers.



    At first, a number of shops and services were identified as Essential and could remain open during Lockdown. Pet grooming was not listed among them. However, pet 'shops' (retail) were allowed to remain open for the sale of ‘food and other necessary goods’.




    Thereafter followed a flurry of questions. Are pet groomers Essential or Non-Essential? Surely a dog’s coat should not be neglected? What does the Government mean, exactly, by ‘working from home’? Which Government department needs to provide this clarity? And ‘Who’ exactly IS ‘the Government’?



    Trading Standards gave its view – which differed between regions. Local Authorities came out with their recommendations. Also inconsistently. One Member of Parliament would say Yes, another MP would say No.



    With so much conflicting information, it was, indeed, impossible to tell groomers exactly what they needed to hear. There was no unified position from ‘Government’ about whether or not groomers should open or remain closed.




    The Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) is the industry advisory body to the Government department, Defra (the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs) and deals directly with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, an executive agency of Defra.




    The CFSG is the closest representative of the pet grooming industry to central Government. And BIGA is an Associate Member of the CFSG (most of our interaction with the CFSG normally involves discussions around regulation).




    By Tuesday the 7th of April, after hearing inputs from BIGA as well as the Pet Industry Federation (PIF), the CFSG – in consultation with the APHA, as well as the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) – published its guidance for pet professionals, including pet groomers. The link is available at the bottom of this article (go to the CFSG website and click on the link for 'Coronavirus').



    BIGA dutifully shared this guidance with our members and the pet grooming community. We said from the start that we would abide by the following premise throughout the crisis: Follow all government advice. Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.




    Whether or not you agree with the guidance from the CFSG (which is subject to unannounced revisions so it is worth checking the link daily) and choose to open or stay closed is an informed decision for you to take, considering the safety requirements, financial viability and animal welfare. In the meantime, BIGA is pulling together information and guidance for how groomers can best meet the safety protocols in their businesses as Lockdown restrictions are lifted.


    Click here for the advice from CFSG. See also the preceding news article on BIGA's News Page.



  • 24 Mar 2020 11:00 AM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)

    Last updated Tuesday 7-Apr-2020


    BIGA would like to inform our members and the community of UK professional pet groomers of the updated guidance we have received today from the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG), the industry advisory body to Defra (the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs).

    This guidance was issued today Tues 7-Apr-2020. Click here. 

    [edit: the link takes you to the CFSG website. Click on the link along the left-hand margin for 'Coronavirus' for the most up-to-date information from the CFSG]

    To be clear, this is the guidance from the CFSG on behalf of the Government. It is not issued by BIGA.

    Please read it carefully. Use your professional judgement on all health and safety issues. Be sure to follow all safety protocols.

    If you have questions or require clarification, please contact

    customeradvice@apha.gov.uk.

    This is a hugely divisive issue in a very challenging time for our country. Please stay safe and remember to treat all other groomers with professional courtesy. 

    Above all, continue to follow all government advice.

    Stay at Home. Protect our NHS. Save Lives.


    * The links are listed for you where you can read more from all the relevant bodies.

    We will do our best to keep you all up to date with any changes in advice.


    Recommended Articles and sources of credible information:


    1. World Health Organization - Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak


    2. Federation of Small Businesses

    Advice and Guidance for Small Businesses and the Self-Employed


    3. British Veterinary Association - updates for the veterinary profession


    4. GOV.UK Advice: Further Businesses and Premises to close


    5. GOV.UK Advice: COVID-19: Support for businesses


    6. Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis Advice - Coronavirus Financial Help & Rights


    7. GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for people with animals


    8. Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) - Advice for Animal-Related Businesses and Local Authorities

    [edit: this takes you to the CFSG webiste. Click on the link for Coronavirus located along the left-hand margin of the site]

    Coronavirus and animals

    According to the OIE, the current spread of Covid-19 is a result of human to human transmission, and, to date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.

    Current evidence suggests Covid-19 has an animal source but this remains under investigation. Vets should continue to take the usual precautions when handling animals and animal products in line with good biosecurity protocols.

    On 1 March it was reported that a Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong had tested positive for Covid-19 and further testing, including gene sequencing, suggests that the dog has a low-level of infection and that this is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission. The dog has not shown any clinical signs of disease. A blood test has also been carried out and has come back negative, indicating that there are no measurable amounts of antibodies in the blood at this stage. This does not rule out infection. The OIE states that

    “There is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick.

    Advice of owners who are self isolating or suffering with coronavirus
    If a pet is in the household of an infected person Defra is advising pet owners to limit contact with their pets and to phone their vet in an emergency.

    We are expecting advice from DEFRA but currently this is BVA Advice

    • Remind all owners not to bring their pets to a groomer or surgery if they are self-isolating because of suspected or confirmed Covid-19 infection.
    • If the pet requires vet attention owners need to nominate a friend/family member from outside their home to bring the animal to your practice (there is no expectation that vets will undertake home visits when it’s not safe to do so);
    • In emergency owners must phone the vet before attending any surgery they will set up isolation procedure and prepare for safe examination of your pet


  • 31 Jan 2020 1:19 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)


     

    BIGA Director Heidi Anderton with a message for the New Year

    Last year the grooming calendar ended with the BIGA Show, a huge thank you to all who attended, the demonstrators, speakers, volunteers and stand holders. I hope you had a great day like I did. The hall was filled with trade stands and the feedback has been really encouraging that you want the show to continue for another year.

    www.mybiga.org and if you are a member, there is a member only area.
     

    BIGA invites you to become involved, make new friends and advance your career. We are here to help each other, that’s what makes an association, like-minded people.

    Your ideas, input and experiences will help BIGA to grow. So, whether you are a new or experienced groomer, don’t be shy, if you have ideas and free time and can participate and do something for your grooming association, please send us an email to hello@mybiga.org

    This year we aim to finalise the Guidelines for Groomers, streamline the aim of BIGA and grow the member benefits. As well as getting the BIGA show ready for next year which will be held at the kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh on the 1st November.

    Happy New year

    Heidi Anderton LCGI ICMG

    BIGA Director


  • 13 Nov 2019 12:54 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)

    One of this year's Christmas Market trade-stand exhibitors is Centre Stage Backdrops, by Katie Rourke-Dowding. This is the story behind the backdrop. 

    The Centre-Stage Backdrop


    Whilst devices to prevent dogs from reaching the back of the table have been used by smart groomers for decades, the bespoke hand made to measure Centre Stage Backdrop was an entirely new concept which was developed and designed by Katie Rourke Dowding in 2018.

    Katie realised how important it was to prevent "table migration" when her own back problems started to threaten her grooming career. Initally she used a board to block off half of her table, then her husband upgraded it to a hinged section that would lock into place with bolts.

    This, however wasn't "portable" either to other tables or other groomers and it was another 5 years before Katie developed the design we know and love to use today.

    "There were some spectacular failures in the first versions," she laughs. "Grommets that simply didn't do what they promised they would, which tore out of the fabric with little or no provocation and the first batches of fabric which simply fell apart with little or no pressure!"

    We quickly realised that the only safe Backdrop was one that fitted right across the table with very little room at either end of it and that although there are only half a dozen table widths out there, there are as many again different H-Frames to fit them so the total number of variables was much higher than initially anticipated.  

    Although she is happy with the current version (No 12 as it happens) she is constantly adapting it in response to groomer's requests.  That's the joy of making each and every one by hand," she says, "we can be spectacularly reactive to the market."

  • 13 Oct 2019 1:27 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)


    Amy Manser is one of TWELVE top dog groomers generously to provide a live grooming demonstration at this year's BIGA Show 2019. Don't miss Amy's Handstrip Schnauzer. 

    See who else will giving a live demo! For all the exciting details, click here

    All happening at The BIGA Show, Sunday Dec 1st, 2019.

    FREE Entry for Members when you pre-register online


  • 07 Jul 2019 1:54 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)

    Professional pet groomers, and members of the British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA) in particular, are eager to know what is going on with respect to the licensing or regulation of pet grooming. After all, since October last year, doggy daycares, home boarders as well as dog breeders and sellers of puppies in England have been required to obtain an animal activity licence. This requirement extends to other activities involving animals but, so far, does not include pet grooming.

    Pet groomers can therefore expect, not unreasonably, that they are next in line when it comes to animal activity licensing. The question is less about 'If' than 'When'.


    The Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) advises government, specifically DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) with respect to animal activities licensing. They are the animal welfare experts behind last year's licensing. 

    BIGA was invited two years ago to join the CFSG as an associate member, with a view to represent professional pet grooming businesses when it comes to any regulation of pet grooming.

    We are grateful to the CFSG for the invitation. After all, who better than actual pet groomers to help ensure that any measures introduced are realistic and practical? 


    The CFSG has recently provided BIGA with an update:

    “There is an aim to get a non statutory set of standards which those wishing to improve the reputation of dog and cat groomers and to prove they operate to a a good standard will adopt of their own accord and which CFSG members would make the public aware existed.”

    The statement went on to say:

    “Once the huge amount of work around Brexit clears, we will be seeking to get DEFRA to add more activities to the Animal Activity Licensing Regulations of which grooming would be one so yes in the future it may well be regulated but not for the time being.”

    What does this mean for professional pet grooming businesses today?

    BIGA exists to promote the highest standards in animal welfare and professionalism in pet grooming businesses. We welcome any future animal activity licensing and look forward to an ongoing and active leadership role as discussions continue with the CFSG. We will be reaching out to our membership in due course about any potential 'gold standard' the industry may potentially create and embrace. The aim of this will help to provide pet owner reassurance, promote professionalism of pet grooming businesses and, best of all, protect animals in our care by ensuring the highest standards in animal welfare during pet grooming.



  • 29 Jun 2019 7:57 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)

    We are very pleased indeed that pet grooming suppliers Mutneys and Simpsons will both be sponsoring The BIGA Show 2019 as our two named GOLD Sponsors.


    Gold sponsorship of the show is a £500 donation in exchange for a 6m frontage stand in a prime location. This donation helps enormously to make the show a reality by contributing to venue hire, prizes and competition giveaways and general costs.


    A BIGA Thank You to our GOLD sponsors Simpsons and Mutneys !!


  • 12 May 2019 3:15 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)

    There's no such thing as a silly question, especially when you're new to pet grooming.

    But how do you ask the question in a public forum like Facebook without fear of a backlash from a cruel keyboard warrior?

    Why not join the BIGA Mentorship program on Facebook? If you're new to the industry, a student, just starting out, why not request a Mentor? It's the safe, happy place to learn from somebody in the business who has been there, done that. No judgment. Just supportive care and a real interest in helping you on your journey!

    Find out more about BIGA's Mentorship program on Facebook

    Click here 

  • 02 Mar 2019 6:19 PM | BIGA Admin (Administrator)


    Find us, the friendly BIGA family, at Crufts Hall 5 Stand 86 from Thursday March 7th through Sunday March 10th

    Make sure to ADD or CLAIM your FREE business listing on www.mypetgroomer.co.uk

    JOIN the more than 900 businesses already featured on MyPetGroomer!


    Find out more about BIGA and how you can get involved. BIGA is the pet groomers trade association and community support network. Be a part of something BIGA.

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The British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA)

A Not-for-Profit Trade Association and Community Support Network

 Registered at St. George’s House, 14 George Street, Huntingdon, Cambs. PE29 3GH. Reg. No. 10085801

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