Good news!!!The Welsh Assembly has voted YES for tougher regulations
Wales is notorious for its prolific puppy farming industry and, for years, animal welfare groups across the UK have campaigned tirelessly for a tighter regulation system. Though not perfect, the new standards are a monumental step in the right direction that will better protect the welfare of breeding dogs and their puppies. We must now push for England to follow suit.
Here is a list of the new rules that will soon come into force:
- The requirement that to be licensed a breeder must implement approved socialisation and enrichment programmes for dogs and puppies kept.
- The requirement that puppies not be sold by a breeder before 8 weeks of age.
- The requirement that a person keeping on their premises 3 or more breeding bitches must apply for a dog breeding licence.
- The requirement that the maximum number of adult dogs and puppies to be kept under the terms of the licence must be stated on the licence.
- The requirement that the licence holder must take all reasonable steps to protect dogs from pain, suffering, injury and disease. The current regulations only require that steps be taken to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
- The requirement for a minimum ratio of 1 member of staff for every 20 breeding dogs kept, with this ratio to be increased at the discretion of the local authority depending on the particular circumstances of the breeder. Previously no minimum staffing level was required.
- The requirement that the licence holder must maintain a written record in relation to each breeding bitch and puppy kept on the premises, and a copy of the record be provided to the new owner and a copy retained by the licence holder.
- The requirement that when ownership of a breeding bitch or puppy is transferred the name, address and telephone number of the new owner must be recorded by the licence holder.
- The granting of power to local authorities to also attach further conditions to a licence as it considers necessary.
- The granting of power to local authorities to charge such fees as it considers necessary.
- The granting of power to local authorities to take account of the applicant’s conduct or any other circumstances that the local authority considers are relevant.
- The granting of power to inspectors to take, for the purposes of ensuring the provisions of these Regulations are being complied with, saliva or hair samples for DNA testing, from any dog on premises occupied by the licence holder.
- The granting of power to local authorities to directly suspend or revoke a breeder’s licence without the requirement to prosecute via a magistrate’s court, though breeders will retain a right of appeal.
- The provision of detailed Statutory Guidance to local authorities on the interpretation of the Regulations including relating to health and veterinary care, socialisation, exercise and other matters. Any authority will be expected substantially to follow this Guidance except where they can provide supportable grounds not to in particular cases.
- The Welsh Government has removed a previous proposal which would have required all dogs and puppies kept to be micro-chipped as this was delaying progress on technical grounds. The requirement for universal micro-chipping will come in later under specific regulations