‘Unsafe’ Burton Latimer cattery shut down by council after cats found living in downstairs toilet room
A cattery has been shut down by licensing bosses after an inspection found cats were being kept in cramped, unsafe conditions.
Latimer Cattery was given an on-the-spot suspension notice in July after an unannounced inspection by North Northamptonshire Council, accompanied by the RSPCA. In September, the council decided to fully revoked the licence.
On its website, the cattery in North Avenue, Burton Latimer, advertised itself as a ‘home-from-home’, with the owner claiming to have fostered many cats from rescues. It said that all cats have comfy bedrooms, with heaters and are kept in individual sleeping areas.
But when inspectors called over the summer, cats were found being kept in cramped conditions in the licensed cattery but also in the adjoining house, where they were found in the downstairs toilet, the spare bedroom and in small crates stacked on top of one another in the office.
There was nowhere for the crated cats to exercise, hide, climb or jump to and the litter trays in the crates were too close to where the cats slept.
Cats were also found being boarded in the storage area and corridor of the cattery, and one licensed pen was overcrowded, being only suitable for one cat but housing two.
There was poor ventilation, exposure to unhealthy and unsafe environments and cats were being kept within the same accommodation as other cats who they did not know and from a different household, with no sneeze screens between them and nowhere to hide away.
The unlicensed areas of the cattery and the house at North Avenue, Burton Latimer did not comply with the conditions required for the boarding of cats, and four of the five welfare needs as stated in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of the cats were not being met:
need for a suitable environment.
need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns.
need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals.
need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury, and disease.
NNC’s executive member for growth and regeneration Councillor David Brackenbury (Con, Thrapston) said: “It is the council’s role to ensure that all licensed animal boarding establishments and licence holders comply with the required licensing and animal welfare standards and to take proportionate and appropriate action where contraventions are observed to ensure that the required standards are met.
"This provides a level playing field for all licenced animal boarders in the area and ensures that all boarding is subject to the same strict licensing criteria to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the animals."
Council leader Jason Smithers (Con, Oundle) said: “The issue of animal welfare is of paramount importance to us as the licensing authority, and we ensure all premises that need to be licensed meet the required standards.
The cats were examined by an RSPCA Inspector and found to be in good health despite being kept in unsuitable conditions. This strikes me as fortunate, rather than by design."