RSPCA Cymru has warmly welcomed confirmation from the Welsh Government that the country’s dog breeding regulations are to be revisited.

This follows a report published by the Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group on the issue of dog breeding – including input from the RSPCA.

At present, anyone with three or more breeding bitches meeting certain conditions must be licensed – but welfare issues and poor breeding practices persist in Wales, as exposed by a recent BBC documentary.

The Welsh Government has also confirmed that additional funding is likely to be required by local authorities for enforcement of laws related to animal welfare.

Announcements came during a session of the Welsh Parliament’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee today (16 January).

RSPCA Cymru has long called for a review of the funding and enforcement capacity of local government; so says this acknowledgement is a “hugely positive development”.

Claire Lawson, the RSPCA’s assistant director for external relations in Wales, said: “Wales’ new dog breeding laws, passed in 2014, marked a big step forward for animal welfare – but the RSPCA has long highlighted that further improvements are necessary.

“It’s really welcome that the Welsh Government are looking again at these laws, and that the Minister described this as urgent.

“We’ll continue to campaign for more emphasis on tackling genetic issues at breeding establishments, a staff-to-dog ratio that better considers welfare, and possible action to tackle bad cat breeding practices too.

“However, what is really important is that local authorities feel equipped and resourced to enforce animal welfare laws – including on dog breeding, microchipping, equine control and so much else.

“We’ve long called for support for local authorities; via a thorough review of their funding, training and enforcement provisions impacting animals – so the Welsh Government’s acknowledgement that more funding will likely be needed is also a hugely positive development.”

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