Monday, 14 September 2009

Council Wins Animal Charity Award

Pembrokeshire County Council has won a national RSPCA award for its pioneering work in combating rogue puppy farms.

The Council was crowned winner of the Wales Local Authority Innovator award in this year's RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprints scheme.

The animal charity praised the Council's animal welfare team for its work in raising the welfare standards of licensed dog breeding and for cracking down on rogue puppy farms in what the charity describes as ‘the puppy farming centre of the UK'.

Public Protection's Animal Welfare Team has also used funding available from the Welsh Assembly Government to produce a report recommending how dog breeding can be improved in Wales. This includes a Best Practice guide for other authorities to follow.

It is also working closely with the Welsh Assembly Government in its review of dog breeding legislation.

Councillor Ken Rowlands, Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services, said he was delighted that the Council's Animal Welfare Team had received the award.

"Although the image of Wales has traditionally been poor for dog breeding this Council is committed to improving the conditions in which dogs are kept and we are determined that only the best practices should be followed," he said.

"I am pleased that our team's innovative approach has been commended by the RSPCA and that the judges believe it is a model for other authorities in England and Wales.

"All animal lovers can be reassured that as an authority we take the issue of animal welfare very seriously."

The Council will now be presented with a trophy and representatives will also attend a reception in the House of Lords next month.

The RSPCA launched its Community Animal Welfare Footprints scheme in 2008 as a seal of approval for local authorities pioneering new methods of tackling animal welfare issues.

Piers Claughton, the charity's senior local government advisor said the awards recognised and celebrated those that had "gone above and beyond the basic service requirements to ensure high animal welfare standards."

He added that the standard of entries this year was far higher than the judges had hoped for.

"The winners of the four innovator awards all demonstrated outstanding examples of forward thinking and best practice," he said.


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