Breeding and culling rats for personal use and to sell - Reptile Forums

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 22-11-2020, 01:58 AM
Egg
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 1
Default Breeding and culling rats for personal use and to sell

Hi All,

I'm new around here but we have recently started breeding rats to feed our collection of snakes in the house. However we have more than we need and would like to consider setting up a small business where we can also sell rats for a fair price, I am currently vacuum packing the weekly feeds and was thinking what the laws are on selling dead/feeding rats?

Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction to do this, as I can't see anything online which says it's illegal, as there is people already doing it so it must be legal to do.

Thank you for your responses in advance.

Thanks
Sam
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 22-11-2020, 11:46 AM
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Location: Stevenage, UK
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You could always telephone one of the existing companies and ask them (discreetly) what issues they faced when starting up....

From my own conversations with my supplier there are guidelines to how the rodents should be culled for commercial purposes. Normally Co2 is used, but you may have to use some "approved" chamber rather than a plastic tub for example.

You will have to use an overnight courier service to ship frozen rodents, and not all will accept this. It's not so much the product being shipped, it the fact it's a perishable item. If you have a customer receiving a thawed out order then it has to be thrown away as you can't refreeze. The customer claims on you, you then claim on the courier company... Most suppliers currently use dry ice and sturdy boxes made from 1" thick walled polystyrene. So you have packaging costs, dry ice costs (or other suitable cold blocks), courier costs (they may charge for collection from you), and then (in summer) the risk of orders arriving defrosted).

You would need some form of taking customers orders. That could involve a website, so you have hosting fees, domain name cost, and paypal fees. If you don't have a website, and use word of mouth or advertise on forums / social media etc, then you'll need a way for people to pay by card. New non contract (rolling 30 day period) services exist with the equipment costing as little as £50. You then pay a percentage of each transaction to the company providing the payment service.

It's a cutthroat business... there are one or two new companies that have set up in the past 12 months...if you are just offering surplus adult rats then you wouldn't really be that competitive, and it may not be a cost effective operation. You might be better off contacting your local bird of prey centre or reptile shop and strike up a deal to offload your surplus to them
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Malc



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Old 26-11-2020, 09:07 AM
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As far as i am aware to be legit needs registration with Defra who will want to do inspect your facilities from time to time. As Malc says it is cut throat and i know a few people who have stopped breeding feeder rodents as they just can't compete with the likes of Keizebrink and others who despite haulage costs are bringing frozen rodents from Eastern Europe at much lower cost than UK producers. Plus as they carry no VAT and are dead the trade will be unaffected by Brexit.
However, depending on where you live and your proximity to densely populated areas where you can make your own deliveries economically you might be able to build up a decent number of customers. If not and you need to use couriers it will probably end up making you less competitive than suppliers already in the market.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 26-11-2020, 12:02 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Stevenage, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry python View Post
As far as i am aware to be legit needs registration with Defra who will want to do inspect your facilities from time to time. As Malc says it is cut throat and i know a few people who have stopped breeding feeder rodents as they just can't compete with the likes of Keizebrink and others who despite haulage costs are bringing frozen rodents from Eastern Europe at much lower cost than UK producers. Plus as they carry no VAT and are dead the trade will be unaffected by Brexit.
However, depending on where you live and your proximity to densely populated areas where you can make your own deliveries economically you might be able to build up a decent number of customers. If not and you need to use couriers it will probably end up making you less competitive than suppliers already in the market.
Yup, some excellent points there, especially the registration of the business with DEFRA. Technically you would also need to notify HMRC of any profit you made for tax reasons, regardless of the amount, so you would need to run the operation as a business to take into account your expenses.

The only advantage the OP would have over existing bulk supplies would be quality. The fact that people would know that the animals were bred in the UK and and not imported from Europe as a lot are. I've had reassurances from my supplier that they only supply animals bred in the UK be that ones they raise themselves, or surplus taking in from people like the OP, breeding for their own collections
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 30-11-2020, 09:38 PM
Hatchling
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 38
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Freezing or suffocating just make sure they can expel CO2 so it’s like falling asleep both are considered humane and could be done in mass from what I remember. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inert_gas_asphyxiation
Eh freezing kills parasites and live feeding by some can be considered unethical so no matter how you kill them you’d probably be wanting to freeze them after to keep them fresh, do you have the ability to flash freeze?
There’s an other way to do it but I can’t remember which vertebrae you insert the screwdriver in while simultaneously pulling the tail so as to you know not injure the animal. Should kill it instantly.
Eh google threw this at me
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wVtAq5Wjx_E
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