Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs
I am pleased to announce I have today laid the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Wales) Regulations 2021 alongside the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum and a Plenary debate on them will be held on 2 March 2021.
As I advised in my Written Statement of 5 October 2020 my commitment is to introduce a ban on the commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens in Wales before the end of this Senedd.
These Regulations will change the licensing arrangements for the sale of animals as pets in Wales, which includes a ban on the commercial third party sale of puppies and kittens. Optimising welfare standards across Wales is a priority and the intention of the new Regulations is to promote responsible breeding and ensure puppies and kittens are bred in suitable conditions.
I have always maintained a ban on its own cannot tackle all the problems associated with puppy trading. The proposed ban is one part of the work associated with improvements in welfare standards at dog breeding establishments which include tackling barriers to enforcement.
I am also pleased to advise, working closely with Local Authorities, work is also underway in relation to tackling barriers to enforcement of the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations 2014. A three year Welsh Government funded project, which includes enhancement of training and better guidance for inspectors and improved use of resources within Local Authorities and across Wales, has been established and is being led by Local Authorities in Wales.
We will continue to work with key stakeholders, including Local Authorities and the other Administrations to ensure we introduce changes which will have a lasting impact on the welfare standards of dogs and cats bred in Wales.