BVA welcomes Cabinet Secretary’s statement on improving pet welfare in Wales

21 June 2018

BVA Welsh Branch President has welcomed the announcement

Measures
outlined in the statement from Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural
Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, included a commitment to improving dog breeding
regulations, a review of microchipping regulations and an exploration of what
veterinary provision, assistance and advice is available for those who need
help in caring for their pets.

The
statement also signals that the Welsh Government will be publishing newly
revised Codes of Practice for horses and dogs as well as reviewing the existing
Codes for cats and rabbits over the coming months. Work will also start on
identifying any need for further codes such as for exotic pets or racing
greyhounds.

Sarah
Carr, BVA Welsh Branch President, said: “We're delighted to see that the Welsh
Government is continuing to keep animal welfare, and in particular
irresponsible breeding of dogs, at the top of their agenda.

“Sadly,
as vets we frequently see examples of animal suffering caused by bad breeding
practices and irresponsible dog ownership. There are particular challenges
presented by the large numbers of puppies bred in Wales, often in poor
conditions with little regard for their welfare. Refining the existing
legislation is a welcome step, and it will need to be aligned as a minimum with
England's incoming licensing regulations.

“We
also support the Welsh Government's move to address third party sales, with a
view to banning them, but within this review there is also a need to consider
advertising, internet sales and pet owners' buying habits and take a holistic
approach to all sources of pet supply and demand to ensure that illegal
activity won't be driven underground.

“BVA
fully recommends microchipping of pets as a safe, quick and inexpensive way to
reunite lost pets with their owners. However, we also recognise that this
is a complex area that merits further discussion, so we would be very happy to
engage with the Welsh Government on this as their review progresses.

“We're
pleased to see that there will be a review of what help is available for people
who need support with caring for their pets. Prospective owners should
always think carefully about how they can cater for an animal's welfare needs
and ensure that they register with their vet at the earliest opportunity to
benefit from ongoing and tailored advice and support.

“Finally,
it's positive to see that the Codes of Practice for a range of animals will be
reviewed and updated. We would strongly support the revision of the
existing Code of Practice for rabbits, and the introduction of a new code for
exotic species, developed in close consultation with the veterinary profession,
to help build understanding of their very specific husbandry and welfare
needs.”

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