The RSPCA has published its first ever report into the state of animal welfare in Wales, which recognises several significant milestones the country has achieved above and beyond other GB administrations.

The RSPCA has published its first ever report into the state of animal welfare in Wales, which recognises several significant milestones the country has achieved above and beyond other GB administrations.

The report, Animal Welfare Indicators Wales, consists of statistics compiled by the RSPCA using sources such as the Welsh Government’s Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme (CAWES) and, for the first time, brings together a collection of indicators that provide an insight into what is happening in the country with regard to animal welfare.
Animal Welfare Indicators Wales
According to the charity, the report recognises several key milestones and highlights the importance of measuring welfare and the need for the continuation of partnership working in Wales.

Milestones recognised within the report include:

  • The introduction of a ban on the use of electronic shock collars on dogs and cats (the first law of its kind in the UK) and the first successful prosecution brought using this legislation.
  • Wales was the first country within Great Britain to have codes of practice in relation to the welfare of dogs, cats and equines, and remains the only country to have a code for rabbits.
  • In 2010, 81% of Assembly Members, staff and civil servants voted in favour of the National Assembly for Wales switching to Freedom Food-labelled produce. Freedom Food eggs and salmon have now been introduced in the National Assembly – the first legislature to do so.

In his introduction to the report, RSPCA chief executive Mark Watts said: “The RSPCA is delighted to have produced the first set of animal welfare indicators for Wales. It is especially timely that this was achieved during the year the people of Wales voted yes in its referendum, which has seen animal welfare formally devolved to the Welsh Government.”

RSPCA director of communications David Bowles explained that, by benchmarking animal welfare and subsequently tracking and measuring, it would be possible to identify where problems are and encourage positive changes.

He said: “Our idea is to ask the same questions about animal welfare every year, so we can measure how things are improving – or not. This RSPCA report is the only one that tackles the state of animal welfare on such a scale.”

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