Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs
High standards of animal welfare continue to be a high priority for the Welsh Government.
In my appearance at the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee on Thursday 11 June, I restated my commitment to introducing new legislation to ban commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens in Wales by the end of this Senedd. I also confirmed this work is now being progressed by officials. However, I am sure you will appreciate to the additional pressure presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to carefully manage resources.
Today, I will launch the final consultation to the proposed ban of commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens. The consultation process is a key part of evidence gathering to help us to identify where Government intervention is most appropriate and will have the greatest impact in Wales. I am sure you appreciate any changes to the legislation or to enforcement must be proportionate and evidence based. In light of previous consultations on this subject and the publication of the Summary of Responses, this consultation period will be 8 weeks. We will be working with Children in Wales and will engage with other key animal welfare organisations, in parallel with the full consultation, to ensure the voice of children and young people of Wales is heard.
I would also like to highlight the proposed legislation to ban commercial third party sales is only one of the steps necessary to improve the welfare of those animals at breeding establishments in Wales. Officials are working closely with local authorities and work is underway in relation to tackling barriers to enforcement; enhanced training; better guidance; and improved use of resources within local authorities as part of a 3 year Welsh Government funded pilot project.
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.