The Welsh Government has published new draft regulations that will support its efforts to control dog breeding and to generally improve standards of living for dogs.
This is the second set of dog breeding regulations that the Welsh Government has consulted on. The first set was amended to reflect the views of those breeders already operating responsibly.
There will now be a 14 week consultation period on the new draft regulations and interested parties are invited to provide their views.
Speaking about the new plans, the Minister said:
“The Welsh Government is committed to raising standards of animal welfare.
“As part of that agenda we are determined to deal with unscrupulous dog breeders who tarnish the reputation of those breeders operating in a responsible and proper manner.
“The draft regulations which I am launching today have been informed not just by responses to our first consultation, but also by a host of meetings with interested parties that have enabled us to fully take into account a wide range of views and concerns.
“They will be a vital tool in helping us to ensure exemplary standards of welfare for dogs in Wales and I would urge anyone with an interest to provide their views as part of the consultation process.”
The key changes are:
- a change to the thresholds so that a person with three breeding bitches on the premises, and who breeds 3 or more litters of puppies on those premises in any 12 month period will need to be licensed;
- a restriction on selling so that anybody who has 3 breeding bitches and who advertises 3 litters a year for sale or supplies them in any 12 month period will require to be licensed;
- a minimum staff to dog ratio of one attendant to 30 dogs.
- that stud dogs are now defined to ensure that appropriate record keeping and microchipping measures are taken.
- that a yearly licence is required for licensed premises.
The Environment Minister also spoke of his interest in introducing legislation that would require all dogs in Wales to be microchipped. He said:
“Licensed dog breeders in Wales are already required to microchip all animals on their premises prior to them being moved or sold on.
“However we are now considering plans that would require all dogs in Wales to be microchipped. This would promote responsible pet ownership, ensure pet owner accountability and help to improve the welfare of dogs across Wales.”
The consultation on the draft regulations on dog breeding is open until 27th March.
The Welsh Government will consult separately on plans for compulsory microchipping in 2012.