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Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme

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The Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme (CAWES) was set up to promote companion animal welfare in Wales.

Local Authorities already operate services responsible for regulating agricultural animal health and welfare, and the licensing of various animal keeping establishments/activities. These include dog breeders, riding establishments and dangerous wild animals. The authorities have not, traditionally, been involved in regulating animal welfare outside these categories. The key focus of CAWES was working with partners in Wales. It provided new funding to complement the existing animal welfare service provision.

Partnership Working

As part of CAWES, local authorities were required to work together with animal welfare organisations and members of the Animal Welfare Network Wales. This was as well as any other organisation that dealt with the welfare of companion animals. Such organisations included the British Veterinary Association, Police and Animal Health Veterinary Laboratory Agency.

In addition, local authorities established and facilitated regional animal welfare forums with key animal welfare partner organisations to:

  • share good practice
  • provide peer support
  • engage partners and build relationships
  • co-ordinate work
  • increase lobbying power.


Education was fundamental to the long term objective of promoting standards of animal welfare in Wales and minimising the need for enforcement by local authorities. The ‘target audience’ for CAWES activities was 7-11 year olds. A bilingual workbook was developed for this age group with the strapline ‘I take care of my pet’.

The workbook was based on the five freedoms. It was designed to be used in conjunction with the Welsh Government’s Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Cats, Dogs and Equines.