Regulations for dog breeding establishments will contain a minimum staff:dog ratio of 1 to 20 excluding puppies.

Monday 23 December 2013

RSPCA Cymru is deeply disappointed that the Welsh Government is proceeding with plans to implement regulations for dog breeding establishments in Wales which could see a single member of staff looking after hundreds of dogs and puppies at the same time.

The Welsh Government has confirmed this evening that they intend to proceed with a minimum staff to dog ratio of 1 to 20 which applies only to adult dogs and will exclude puppies.

Depending on the size of a breeding bitch’s litter, this means one attendant faces the prospect of caring for as many as 200 dogs and puppies at once, allowing as little as two minutes to provide for each animal in a working day.

This could mean attendants will not have the time or resources to ensure dogs have opportunities to express normal behaviour or be handled or socialised appropriately.

RSPCA Cymru’s Head of External Affairs, Claire Lawson said: “While the Welsh Government’s intention to implement new dog breeding regulations is welcome, RSPCA Cymru is concerned that this flawed ratio could damage the aim of the legislation to raise standards across dog breeding establishments in Wales.

“The welfare of dogs at breeding establishments is a very important issue for the RSPCA and we are deeply disappointed that puppies are to be excluded from the staff to dog ratio.

“Almost 800 members of the public backed an RSPCA Cymru campaign telling the Welsh Government not to do this – so it is disappointing that these calls have fallen on deaf ears”.