A commitment to improve welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises in Wales has been made by the Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.
A report, produced by the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, reviewing the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales Regulations 2014) has been published today.
The recommendations include a need for:
Greater consistency in the inspection and enforcement of breeding regulations
A review of the licensing process, including application of a staff to adult dog ratio appropriate to the breeding premises
The need for better welfare standards for all breeding dogs rather than only those at licensed premises
To deliver improvements and consistency in the inspection and enforcement of the breeding regulations, which is undertaken by Local Authorities, a scoping project has been set up to determine what additional resource is needed.
Once completed, funding for a three year pilot scheme will be provided. This will enable expertise to be built through specialist training and upskilling of dedicated Local Authority staff.
The review also supports the ban of third party sales of dogs and the Minister has committed to legislating on this issue before the end of this Senedd.
Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “We all want to see the highest welfare standards for animals in Wales. Part of this is to drive up the welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises.
“I would like to thank the Animal Health and Welfare Group for reacting so quickly and producing their comprehensive report. Some of the recommendations can be delivered through existing legislation and I’m keen to see these progress as a matter of urgency before proposing amendments to the current Breeding Regulations.
“The combination of new regulations on pet sales and dedicated funding for enforcement and delivery of the Breeding Regulations, will result in lasting improvements to the welfare standards of puppies bred in Wales.”