DOG carers across Bracknell, Wokingham and West Berkshire are calling for an ‘unfair’ and ‘unjust’ new boarding fee to be scrapped.

A petition set up just earlier this week demanding a £400-plus price hike in licensing fees is reduced has already received more than 500 signatures.

READ MORE: Dog boarders slam 'barking mad' new fees

The fee increase means owners of small dog-boarding businesses will now pay up £570 to renew their licence up from £120 — a surge of 375 per cent.

This charge is in line with fees commercial dog kennels pay and is reportedly greater than the fine handed to boarders who do not cough up the cash.

The petition reads: “There are more than 110 micro businesses and sole traders across the Joint Public Protection Partnership (PPP) area who may now be forced to close as a direct consequence of this license fee increase.

Bracknell News:

“We desperately don’t want to close because we are all passionate about the dogs we take care of and we pride ourselves in offering a unique boarding experience for our clients and their dogs.

“The fine laid down by DEFRA, for failing to obtain a licence, is set at £500 which is less than the total cost of renewal!

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“Such a large increase cannot be considered fair or justified and, is contrary to the principle that local government is there to help and support local businesses thrive.”

Another concern levelled at the PPP — which covers Bracknell Forest, Wokingham borough and West Berkshire — is the lack of notice given to dog-boarders who were handed this fee out-of-the-blue.

Bracknell News:

Petition organisers claim this means many dog-boarders will have to shut-up-shop as their income has been drained by the coronavirus pandemic.

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In light of this, the boarders are calling for PPP chiefs to review and reduce the hike.

The petition can be found here: