Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans has asked RSPCA Cymru to undertake an independent review of responsible dog ownership in Wales.

The announcement follows on from a statement the Deputy Minister made last month launching a consultation on proposals to introduce compulsory microchipping in Wales from next Spring.

The review, which is expected to report in early autumn, will also involve the Dogs Trust in Wales and other interested parties such as, Local Authorities, schools and vets.

It is expected to make recommendations about what can be done to raise awareness of the responsibilities of owning a dog particularly in areas with higher numbers of dog attacks and will be based on sound evidence and use the most up-to-date information.

The Deputy Minister said, “I am pleased that RSPCA Cymru has agreed to carry out this review for us. As set out in our Animal Health and Welfare Framework, the way we treat our animals is an important reflection of our society’s values. I am particularly looking forward to reading the report’s recommendations on how we can raise awareness of responsible dog ownership among children and young people as they have a long term role to play in driving up animal welfare standards.

“Commissioning this review is further evidence of the Welsh Government’s commitment to improving dog welfare in Wales. In 2010, we legislated to ban electronic shock collars and from 30 April 2015 new standards will be introduced for licensed dog breeders. We are currently consulting on plans to introduce legislation requiring the compulsory microchipping of dogs in Wales by next Spring.”

RSPCA Cymru’s Head of External Affairs, Claire Lawson, said, “We welcome this opportunity to undertake an independent review of responsible dog ownership in Wales.

“The welfare of dogs and community safety issues are integral to resolving irresponsible dog ownership.

“This review will provide an important opportunity to build on the strong record we have in Wales in regards to enhancing dog welfare.”

The work will also advise on existing legislation for the control of dogs, including the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, and examine if it meets its objective to raise standards of dog ownership.