Speaking at a plenary debate about dangerous dogs led by Labour AM Julie Morgan, the Environment Minister said:
“We are working to manage and control the problem of dangerous dogs focussing particularly on what can be done using new legislation.
“Whilst the aim of new legislation would be to prevent injury to people and protect children, it would also incorporate the principles of our Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.
“Any dog can be dangerous, and dog training, socialisation and the responsibilities of dog owners all play a key part in ensuing that dogs do not pose a danger. In developing any new proposals, these issues must be borne in mind.”
The Minister said that new legislation might encompass measures for owners or keepers of dogs who have failed to keep their dogs under control.
It might also include extending requirements for keeping dogs under control within private premises and ensuring all animals are treated appropriately whatever their breed.
The Welsh Government will be meeting with interested groups and parties over the next nine months to take forward this work and will be considering the introduction of a Welsh bill as soon as is practically possible.
A Welsh Government consultation is already underway on plans that will help Wales to deal with unscrupulous dog breeders and ensure better welfare standards in puppy farms across Wales.
The Environment Minister has also previously spoken of his plans to introduce legislation that would require all dogs in Wales to be micro chipped. This is intended to promote responsible pet ownership, ensure pet owner accountability and help to improve the welfare of dogs across Wales.
The Welsh Government will consult on plans for compulsory microchipping in 2012.