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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:57 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:30 am
Posts: 7
Hi, I am a small hobby breeder of Bengal cats, all my cats are pets first and foremost and we breed the occasional litter of Bengal kittens, we love the breed and rear all our kittens indoors, we donnot have a large cattery and just two runs in the garden one stud run and the other for the girls to go out and play we are now being told by the council that breeding cats is a commercial business and you are not allowed to breed pedigree cats from a private dwelling [ your home ].
If there are any other breeders out there who have been through the same or similar expiriences or know someone else who has and could offer some advice it would be much appreciated.
Our cats are our life and we could not bear to be without them.
We have contacted the gccf who are going to wite to them in our favour stating that small hobby breeders are just that they are not a commercial business so we are keeping our fingers crossed all will go well.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:03 am 
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The Real Boss
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 am
Posts: 471
Location: North West, UK
Hi Catwoman

Your breeding situation sounds very similar to ours. We are based in the North West of England but we’ve never encountered anything quite like that! Whereabouts in the UK are you?

We started by showing our cats, that’s how we got into breeding. Showing is a very expensive hobby and we find that the finances gained from producing 1 litter per year from our show cats helps (a little) towards the cost of our hobby. If this were a business for us it would be a shameful one due to the amount of debt it would be in!

It might be worth a visit to your local citizens advice centre to get their view on the matter. Also, are you a member of Yahoo’s “Novice Breeder Advice” group? It's an online forum (similar to this) but the group is made up of hobby breeders (of all cat breeds) and cat judges and a couple of vets from all over the UK…you might get someone on there who has encountered a similar situation. Send me a PM if you want to join and I’ll email you the link.

All I can suggest is that you stand your ground and continue to reiterate that this is NOT a business but that it is your hobby, surely the council will have to prove that this is a business before they can take action? And I take it your not registered as a business or anything like that? Keep a record of ALL your receipts form cat related purchases and kitten sales (if you don’t already do so) so that you can prove just how ‘unprofitable’ your breeding venture would be if it were to be considered a business.

Hope you get this matter resolved, sorry I can’t be of more help.
Regards

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Heidi


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:06 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:54 pm
Posts: 169
Location: UK
Hi

I would think that the majority of cat breeders in the country, including myself, have a similar set up for our cats as yourself.

How did the council get involved in the first place?
Do you live in council accomodation? Have there been complaints from neighbours?

I know that the Cats Protection do not allow cats to be fostered in homes like they used to anymore. All fosterers need an outside pen that meets specifications for size, cleaning, etc. Maybe this is where they are going?

I still think that the whole argument that hobby breeders are not a business because they make no profit is not really a viable argument. A lot of businesses don't make a profit, small and large, but it doesn't make them hobbyists. (Some businesses make huge losses.) Perhaps the councils/government are now realising this and see an opportunity to make some money for themselves.

If you look at it from a different angle, amateur football, skateboarding, fishing, mountaineering, knitting, painting are hobbies. There is no financial gain for the participants, it is all usually outgoings. Once you start selling your jumpers or your oil paintings to non family/friends or charging for coaching, then you have a business or an occupation, so they perhaps see cats as the same, if you have a few non-breeding cats then it is a hobby, once you start selling kittens it is a business unfortunately.

I hope it doesn't go down the road of accounts/accountants, licensing premises, animal health inspections, certificates etc. all of which will cost a lot of money, but it is a consideration for the future and for those perhaps thinking of becoming a breeder or expanding.

Elsa


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:34 pm
Posts: 62
Location: South Lincs
Councils normally get involved because of alleged noise nuisance.
The GCCF and even the Inland Revenue look upon breeding pet animals as a hobby. Very few do it on a large enough scale to be classed as a business.
If it were classified as such then anyone ever selling pet rabbits etc would come under the same umbrella.
I understand what you mean by all businesses don't make a profit but what about all the people who sell on ebay and at car boot sales. Are you suggesting that for all intents and purposes they should be classed as a business because they are selling to non family and friends.
If councils all took this view then the cat fancy would be over as would the kennel club because no-one would be interested in progressing breeds. You can only progress by breeding the animals in question.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:37 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:30 am
Posts: 7
Hi
Thankyou for your posts, I have been breeding cats for quite a few years, seven years at this house and it has always been a hobby, the council came involved because of complaints about a cat mieowing, our stud boy and then when we agreed to keep him in at night we were served with a noise abatement order saying they would not accept any mieowing day or night, we have appealed and then we were given a date for court for next month.
We were then served with a contravention notice wanting to know all the details of cats and kittens who have ever lived here, any rooms in the house that were used as a dwelling place for cats, etc, etc they have told us that you are not allowed to keep and breed pedigree cats in your home and that it is considered a business. As Liz points out that if this was applied to all breeders there would be no cat fancy.
We have been in touch with the CAB who had absolutely no advice to offer what so ever, we have been in touch with a solicitor who finds it laughable and suggests we contact our local MP, the GCCF are writing a letter to the council on our behalf stating that small hobby cat breeders are not considered to be running a business.
We have however kept all our receipts for the last seven years and understand that electricity and water, petrol and wear and tear on your furniture is also considered expences contributable down to cat breeding as they share your home


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:12 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:34 pm
Posts: 62
Location: South Lincs
Hi,

We moved house last year because of a complaint about noise from the stud cat. We were questioned on numbers but when my husband asked what number of cats they thought was acceptable they had no answer to that.Our local council never took the stand that yours is.
It might be helpful if anyone on this list has experienced any problems regarding complaints to say how they dealt with it. Like I say we moved.


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 Post subject: WELCOME TO THE FORUM LIZ
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:15 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:52 pm
Posts: 422
Location: East Yorkshire, UK
Hiya Liz,

What are you doing on here :D

WELCOME TO THE FORUM :wink:

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Elaine Lomax
www.wildside-bengals.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:27 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:52 pm
Posts: 422
Location: East Yorkshire, UK
Our neighbours are great but we did have a new neighbour build their house 2 doors away from us and they moved in last Spring. They invited all the neighbours round to their house warming party and asked me after the party to keep our cats quiet :oops:

Hope he doesn't complain this year when all the girls come into heat. I find my girls to be noisier than the studs :cry:

We do have big fields at the front and back of our house but unfortunately we have neighbours too !

We've been breeding for 7 years and love it...well most of the time :lol:

I would hate it if we had any written complaints, We really do try to keep the cats quiet when they are calling and they are locked up every night.

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Elaine Lomax
www.wildside-bengals.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:00 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:34 pm
Posts: 62
Location: South Lincs
Hi Elaine,

Just found this forum.
At least your neighbour spoke to you and didn't go straight to the council.
Nice to here from you.

Regards

Liz


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:02 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:34 pm
Posts: 62
Location: South Lincs
Oops spelt hear wrong.I am typing with one hand and have the phone in the other.That's my excuse.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:14 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:52 pm
Posts: 422
Location: East Yorkshire, UK
HA HA...They don't have spell check on here SO HELP ME with my spelling :lol: :lol:

Great to see you on hear ooops I mean on here...ONLY JOKING :wink:

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Elaine Lomax
www.wildside-bengals.com


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