RSPCA Cymru has welcomed the outcome of a landmark vote which will see new dog breeding regulations introduced in Wales from April 2015.

Today (December 9th) – by 46 votes to 5 – Assembly Members voted in favour of new regulations that will improve the lives of so many dogs and puppies in Wales’ dog breeding establishments.

AMs voting against the regulations highlighted concerns consistently raised by RSPCA Cymru, such as the inclusion of a staff-to-dog ratio which, worryingly, excludes puppies.

However, though far from perfect, these regulations mark an important step forward. They will place an increased focus on the role of socialisation and enrichment for puppies, and will result in more consistent standards within establishments across Wales.

RSPCA Cymru has campaigned on this issue for many years and in 2010 participated in a Welsh Government Task and Finish Group examining the case for new regulations.

RSPCA Cymru’s Head of External Affairs, Claire Lawson, said: “The implementation of new dog breeding regulations is long-awaited.

“Whilst delays have been frustrating, the new regulations are an important step forward. This is a landmark day for dog welfare in Wales.

“Generally, there has been considerable need in Wales for some time to update regulations governing the licensing of dog breeding establishments.

“As such, the much-needed increased focus on socialisation and enrichment, and the expansion of the definition of what constitutes dog breeding are very welcome steps forward, and could play a key role in ensuring welfare standards at breeding establishments.”

Last week, RSPCA Cymru called upon its supporters to urge their AMs to vote in favour of the regulations and over 4,000 emails were sent by members of the public, demonstrating the huge levels of public support which exist for tighter regulation of breeding establishments.

The Welsh Government also plan to introduce compulsory microchipping for dogs and details are expected to be brought forward in the near future.