Government & Legislation

BVA welcomes Cabinet Secretary’s statement on improving pet welfare in Wales

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has responded to a range of new measures announced recently (19 June) to further improve pet welfare standards in Wales.

Measures outlined in the statement from Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, included a commitment to improving dog breeding regulations, a review of microchipping regulations and an exploration of what veterinary provision, assistance and advice is available for those who need help in caring for their pets.

The statement also signalled that the Welsh government will be publishing newly revised Codes of Practice for horses and dogs as well as reviewing the existing codes for cats and rabbits over the coming months. Work will also start on identifying any need for further codes such as for exotic pets or racing greyhounds.

Sarah Carr, BVA Welsh branch president, said: “We’re delighted to see that the Welsh government is continuing to keep animal welfare, and in particular irresponsible breeding of dogs, at the top of their agenda.

“Sadly, as vets we frequently see examples of animal suffering caused by bad breeding practices and irresponsible dog ownership. There are particular challenges presented by the large numbers of puppies bred in Wales, often in poor conditions with little regard for their welfare. Refining the existing legislation is a welcome step, and it will need to be aligned as a minimum with England’s incoming licensing regulations.

The association said it supported Wales’ move to address third party sales, with a view to ban the. However, it said that advertising, internet sales and pet owners’ buying habits also needed to be reviewed.

The BVA also “fully recommended” the microchipping of all pets and said there needed to be a review into the help available to prospective pet owners.

She added: “Finally, it’s positive to see that the Codes of Practice for a range of animals will be reviewed and updated. We would strongly support the revision of the existing Code of Practice for rabbits, and the introduction of a new code for exotic species, developed in close consultation with the veterinary profession, to help build understanding of their very specific husbandry and welfare needs.”

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