Campaign opposes Welsh Government proposals on staff to dog ratio at breeding establishments.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

RSPCA Cymru has launched a campaign opposing Welsh Government proposals which could see a single member of staff in a dog breeding establishment looking after hundreds of dogs and puppies at the same time.

The campaign is asking the Welsh public to speak up for puppies born at these establishments by telling the Welsh Government that one individual cannot provide appropriate care for hundreds of dogs at once.

For many years in Wales there has been concern about the way many dogs are bred and the proposal of new regulations marks a welcome step in the right direction. However, it is vital that regulations deliver appropriate dog welfare standards in licensed breeding establishments. They must help ensure puppies get a proper start in life by being cared for and socialised properly.

As proposed, the regulations would introduce a maximum ratio of 20 dogs per full time staff but crucially this is set to exclude puppies. Worryingly, this could mean a member of staff tending to the needs of over 200 dogs/pups at one time – allowing as little as two minutes to provide for each animal in a working day.

The Welsh Government is currently consulting on this ratio and RSPCA Cymru is asking the Welsh public to provide a voice for the nations’ puppies and oppose it.

RSPCA Cymru’s Head of External Affairs, Claire Lawson said: “The welfare of dogs at breeding establishments is a very important issue for the RSPCA and although we remain pleased with the focus the Welsh Government has taken on this, we are deeply concerned with some aspects of the proposed regulations, primarily the new proposals that would see puppies excluded from the staff to dog ratio.

“This proposed change means one attendant having to care for hundreds of dogs at once, meaning they would not have the time or resources to ensure the dogs can express normal behaviour or be handled or socialised appropriately. As such, RSPCA Cymru fundamentally opposes any ratio that does not include puppies.

“RSPCA Cymru has long acted as a lead campaigner on this important issue – and will continue to strive to ensure regulations adequately meet the welfare needs of these animals.”

The campaign went live this morning and will run to the end of the consultation on October 14th. It can be found at:

http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/companion/dogwelfare/dogownershipinwales/takeaction