The Welsh Government has announced its intention to ban the third party sale of puppies and kittens in Wales, in a move welcomed by RSPCA Cymru.
In a written statement, Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs, confirmed that - following a supportive consultation - she proposes "to introduce a ban on the third party sales of puppies and kittens".
The move would mean anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten must either deal directly with the breeder or with a rehoming centre, such as RSPCA animal centres at Newport and Bryn-Y-Maen in Upper Colwyn Bay,
Claire Lawson, RSPCA Cymru's assistant director for external relations, said: "RSPCA Cymru is delighted that the Welsh Government has committed to banning the third party sale of puppies and kittens in Wales.
“Sadly, early separation from mothers, unfamiliar environments and multiple journeys are a miserable reality for too many pups and kittens sold in these settings. We hope this ban will help bring to an end the hugely inappropriate conditions many of these young animals face, where profit is too readily put before their welfare.
“It is also great to see the Welsh Government suggest the importance of a holistic approach. We’re eager to see action that will improve welfare in the breeding, trade and traceability of pets of all ages; and our work around the role a dog licence could play in achieving this continues.
"We also hope this announcement will place fresh emphasis on important discussions about where people source their pets.”
The Welsh Government also announced plans to "revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions at breeding establishments". New breeding regulations came into force in Wales in April 2015 - and RSPCA Cymru has also welcomed plans to revisit these in the hope of driving up welfare standards.
Ms Lawson added: “A further review of breeding regulations in Wales is also welcome.
“Wales' new dog breeding regulations marked a huge step forward, but we're eager to work with the Welsh Government to afford even greater protection for all puppies, kittens and their parents. This includes more emphasis on tackling genetic issues, a staff-to-dog ratio that better considers welfare, and possible action to tackle bad cat breeding practices.
"Adding a puppy or kitten to the family is a huge commitment - and the RSPCA will continue to promote our advice with prospective buyers and adopters, while highlighting the countless rescue animals at our centres seeking a second chance of happiness."
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