Thursday, 12 November 2009

Bates welcomes review of ‘puppy farming’ laws

Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Mick Bates AM, has welcomed the move by the Minister Elin Jones to undertake a review of dog breeding law, which could see stricter licensing for dog breeding in Wales in an effort to regulate puppy farming.

Commenting on the news, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Mick Bates stated:

“I am deeply concerned not enough is being done to protect the health and welfare of dogs being bred in the UK. I have been appalled by the conditions that have recently been exposed at dog breeding facilities, with animals being kept in small, dark, confined pens in awful conditions and no access to outside space. Tighter regulation of breeding is needed as a matter of urgency, so I welcome the move by the Minister to review the law on dog breeding.”

A recent Kennel Club YouGov survey (July 2009) highlights that 72% of people in Wales believe that the Welsh Assembly should be doing more to eradicate puppy farming, 85% believe minimum health and welfare requirements should be introduced for those breeding dogs and only 8% believe puppy farming is necessary in order to supply the demand for domestic dogs.

Mick Bates added: “It is clear that we need a change in the law relating to dog breeding. The current law allows for hobby breeders to keep any number of dogs providing they each produce no more than four litters over a year, but this is extremely difficult to monitor. A business of breeding dogs for sale should be defined based on the number of dogs being bred, as this is far easier to check and control.

“Council dog pounds are overrun with strays, costing the tax payer millions each year, animal rescue organisations are crying out for more funds and huge numbers of pups in kennels are being euthanased due to the lack of available space in kennels for housing stray dogs. Dogs continue to be imported from Ireland which only exacerbates this problem, yet there is no regulation in place to control the number of imported dogs.

“We need more rigorous legislation, with procedure to record and monitor dogs bought and sold by breeding facilities and pet shops and the need for all pups sold to pet shops to carry a vet’s certificate and vaccination papers before being sold on. These records should be available for inspection by an independent body and would enable easier monitoring of pups. Poorly treated animals can then be traced back to the source to identify breeding facilities that are not complying with the requirements of their licence.”


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