Cymru_logo_stacked_CMYKRSPCA Cymru has welcomed the Welsh Government pointing to new guidance which will help animal businesses to operate again, amid continued Covid-19 restrictions.

The new guidance – from the Animal Welfare Network for Wales (AWNW) – will help animal-related businesses operate, while meeting Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing protocols which will help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Boarders and doggy day care services, breeding establishments, dog walkers and trainers, riding establishments, groomers, microchip implanters, pet shops and rescue organisations are all set to benefit from the publication of the new guidance.

Animal handover guidance has also been published, helping businesses working with animals to adhere to social distancing while receiving animals, or returning animals to their owners. This handover protocol will also help anyone volunteering with animals, or walking the dog of a vulnerable member of society who may be shielding.

New guidance includes tips on the safe transportation of animals, hygiene measures, conducting safe transactions and the importance – for some businesses – of considering the prioritisation of animal welfare emergencies. and animals owned by key, or critical, workers

Claire Lawson, RSPCA assistant director for external relations in Wales, said: “The animal welfare sector in Wales is rapidly having to adapt to new rules and realities which the Covid-19 crisis means we face.

“RSPCA Cymru really welcome this new guidance – prepared by the Animal Welfare Network for Wales, which the Welsh Government refers queries to.

“It will mean many animal-related businesses, including organisations that play a vital role in helping ensure animal welfare and care standards, can operate safely amid ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, social distancing measures and other consequences of this most challenging climate.

“With social distancing rules anticipated to be in force for some while to come, this new guidance will help many animal-related businesses operate as safely as possible, while providing – in many cases – the services that help ensure many animals are well looked after, and remain an integral part of so many of our lives.”

This latest development follows the earlier publication of AWNW guidance which – since 14 May – has allowed animal welfare and rescue organisations across Wales to begin rehoming again, as the animal welfare sector adjusts to new rules and realities amid the continued pandemic. The RSPCA labelled this “great news” for animals.

Many owners are concerned about caring for their pets amid the coronavirus – or Covid-19 – outbreak. There’s lots of advice and help on the RSPCA website.

The guidance is based largely upon documentation produced by the Canine & Feline Sector Group for Defra; and amended in recognition of policy and law in Wales.