Calls have been made for a review of the licensing and regulation of dog breeding in Wales, and for the compulsory microchipping of dogs.
Welsh rural affairs minister Elin Jones has asked for a review of the licensing and regulation of dog breeding in Wales, and for the compulsory microchipping of dogs to be considered.
Today’s announcement came after consideration of new evidence from Welsh Assembly Government-funded projects.
The projects, undertaken by local authorities, addressed a range of animal welfare issues, including neglect and cruelty in some so-called “puppy farms”, which is an issue of serious concern to the Welsh Assembly Government.
Initial data gathered by local authorities shows there are 249 unlicensed dog breeding premises across Wales. While this does not necessarily mean there are any welfare issues associated with them, the minister thinks the figure warrants further investigation of the licensing requirements.
The announcement was made in the keynote speech to the “Delivering pet welfare in Wales” conference in Cardiff this morning. The minister presented six local authorities with RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Awards.
Elin Jones said: “The information gathered through the Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme (CAWES) so far has persuaded me of the need to take action to tackle bad practice in the dog breeding industry.
“While the breeding of dogs for sale is a legal and legitimate trade, the production of puppies on a commercial scale with little or no consideration of welfare issues, is unacceptable.
“I will be establishing a task and finish group to review existing guidance on the licensing of dog breeding establishments, and look at whether existing legislation should be amended. In order to improve traceability of dogs, I will be encouraging voluntary microchipping while we consider the need to make microchipping compulsory.
“The Welsh Assembly Government takes the issue of animal welfare very seriously, and has a strong history of educating animal owners and taking action against abuses.
“I recently announced my intention to completely ban the sale and use of electronic training devices, such as electric shock collars, in Wales.”