Welsh environment minister and chief veterinary officer join forces to reinforce the message that pet buyers must think long and hard before taking the plunge.

The Welsh Government has urged people to think carefully before buying pets in the new year.

Environment minister John Griffiths and chief veterinary officer Christianne Glossop have joined forces to reinforce the message that potential pet owners need to think long and hard before taking the plunge.

Christianne GlossopJohn Griffiths said: “As we enter a new year some people may be thinking about purchasing a pet dog or cat. I would ask anyone thinking about getting a pet to make sure they understand what is involved in looking after an animal properly, including the veterinary costs, and to ensure they know where the animal has come from.

“If you do not know where your animal has come you will have no assurance that proper care has been taken of its health and welfare nor that it has been socialised properly. This could potentially lead to behavioural problems and costly veterinary expenses.”

Pets bought from abroad are also a growing problem according to Dr Glossop.

She said: “We believe that some people are buying and selling dogs and cats that have come from abroad, some of which may have travelled illegally. This puts the health of the animals, and the general public, at risk from diseases including rabies and parvovirus. They may also be advertised in a way that misleads the buyer regarding the animal’s history, breed or pedigree.

“I would urge anyone not to buy a cat or dog from an unknown source. If you are planning to bring a new animal into your home, it’s important that you know where it comes from and where it was born. Be particularly careful when buying dogs or cats advertised on the internet or through local or social media.”

People looking to buy a new pet are urged to follow these simple steps:

  • Buy your animal from a reputable supplier. Advice on buying a dog or cat is available from veterinary surgeons and a range of animal organisations, including the Dog Advisory Council,  Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA.
  • Check the animal’s history by speaking to the previous owner. If you are buying a puppy or kitten, you should ask to see it with its mother and the rest of the litter.
  • View the animal and its documentation before you buy. If it was born outside of the UK it must have either a pet passport or a veterinary certificate. The pet passport needs to confirm that it was vaccinated against rabies at the correct age.
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