Vets welcome latest action to improve dog welfare in Wales

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the publication of draft regulations to control dog breeding in Wales.

The Welsh Government has produced a second draft of the regulations following an initial consultation which ran from October 2010 to January 2011.

Commenting on the news, Carl Padgett, BVA President, said:

“The BVA has lobbied hard for the Welsh Government to press forward with legislation to tackle the issues of puppy farming and irresponsible breeding.

“A huge amount of work has already been completed by experts in this field and bold policies proposed. We are delighted that this issue is now back at the top of the Welsh Government’s agenda.

“Too often veterinary surgeons see the devastating consequences of poor breeding practices and we hope effective measures can be brought in as quickly as possible.

“The BVA will consider in detail the changes from the first consultation and will be responding to the Welsh Government by the 27 March deadline.”

The Environment Minister also announced that he was considering introducing legislation that would require all dogs in Wales to be microchipped. The Welsh Government will consult separately on plans for compulsory microchipping later this year.

Carl Padgett welcomed this proposal, saying:

“Microchipping is the safest and most effective way to ensure stray pets are reunited with their owners, and that is why the BVA has joined forces with a number of animal welfare organisations to establish the Microchipping Alliance to campaign for the compulsory microchipping of all dogs.

“As well as promoting the responsible ownership message, another clear benefit of permanent identification is the increased traceability it provides between puppies and their breeders.”

More info

1. The Welsh Government Written Statement – Consultation on Dog Breeding Regulations can be found here.
2. The Welsh Government Consultation on Dog Breeding Regulations can be found here.
3. The BVA welcomed the first consultation (October 2010) here.
4. The first set of draft regulations followed a report by an expert Task and Finish Group which made recommendations for new legislation to tackle the significant problem of puppy farming. The BVA and BSAVA were represented on the Task and Finish Group here.
5. The key changes from the first consultation are:
· a change to the thresholds so that a person with 3 breeding bitches on the premises, and who breeds 3 or more litters per annum on those premises in any 12 month period will need to be licensed as a dog breeder;
· a restriction on selling so that anybody who has 3 breeding bitches and who advertises for sale 3 litters a year, whether or not they were born on the premises, or supplies them in any 12 month period will require to be licensed;
· a minimum staff-to-dog ratio to one attendant for 30 dogs;
· that stud dogs are now defined to ensure that appropriate record keeping and microchipping measures are taken; and
· a yearly licence is to be required for licensed premises.

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  1. Really glad this is on the agenda, but one attendant for 30 dogs?? That has to be the lowest possible amount of care.. I can’t imagine what useful or purposeful care could be given at those ratios above feeding and watering.

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