(KC Press Release) The Kennel Club has pledged to continue lobbying for sensible amendments to the latest draft dog breeding regulations laid before the Welsh Government this week, in order to ensure any new regulations are a genuine and workable improvement on current measures.
Commenting on the draft Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations 2013, which were put before the National Assembly this week, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “We are pleased that the Welsh Government is persevering with its commitment to clean up Wales’ somewhat tarnished reputation for dog breeding.
“However, striking a balance to ensure irresponsible breeders are driven out of business while good breeders are still able to operate is absolutely essential to the effectiveness of the new regulations, as well as bringing in regulations which can practically be enforced on the ground.”
Whilst well-meaning in their intent, the draft regulations as they stand will place additional work and responsibility on local authorities.
The Kennel Club is unsure how local authorities will be able to manage what essentially amounts to double the amount of work, in terms of having to undertake inspections of anyone breeding three litters compared to the current threshold of five, when they can barely manage their present workload with the limited resources available to them.
The Kennel Club had proposed that the requirement to undergo inspection of a breeding premises could be fulfilled by either a local authority inspector, or indeed an inspector as part of an organisation independently accredited by UKAS to certify breeders, such as the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme.
(Above) Responsibly bred pups with mum
Mrs Kisko explains: “The current proposals will essentially mean that anyone who is a member of a recognised breeding scheme will have to undergo two inspections.
“The Kennel Club sees no reason why the regulations should unnecessarily be causing authorities to double up on work when the work could be shared between local authorities and any UKAS accredited organisation.
“We will therefore be looking to table an amendment to the current regulations to allow an inspection to be carried out either by a local authority employee or an inspector who is part of an organisation accredited by UKAS to certify breeders. Such a proposal would free up local authority resources to inspect breeders who fall outside such a regime.”
Kennel Club Assured Breeders agree to follow standards of care that go above and beyond those proposed by the Regulations, for example, by health testing breeding dogs.
Mrs Kisko added: “Any new legislation in Wales could provide a framework for other governments in the UK in the future. It is therefore absolutely essential that we get these regulations right and introduce measures which will be perceived as a useful tool for local authorities rather than a burdensome task.”
The draft Regulations will be debated on 2nd July 2013. The latest version of the Regulations can be found here.