Stricter rules around the sale of puppies and kittens have come into force to protect the animals’ welfare.
BBC News reports that it is now illegal for commercial sellers to sell animals they have not bred themselves at their own premises and the mother of the puppy or kitten must be the present.
Puppies and kittens can now only be purchased from where they were bred, or from a rescue or rehoming centre. Vet Paula Boyden said it is “just one piece of the puzzle to stop the trade”.
The Welsh government said the additional protection for the animals helped reduce the risk of disease and trauma associated with third-party sales. This could include travelling long distances, changing hands many times or several new environments at a very young age, leading to an increased risk of health problems and stress. The new laws also allow local authorities to assess whether animals are being kept purely for financial gain and act accordingly if their welfare is at stake.
Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “There has been a renewed focus on our pets during the pandemic, as they have brought companionship, support and joy to many. “It is our duty to do what we can to ensure as many of our pets as possible have the best start in life, and are not subjected to unacceptable conditions which can cause disease and trauma.”
Dr Boyden, who is also the veterinary director at Dogs Trust, added: “The welfare of our nation’s dogs is our highest priority and this is a really important step in helping to eradicate the sale of puppies bred in poor conditions.” She also said she would like to see more regulation of rehoming organisations and sanctuaries, full traceability of all puppies being bred and sold and a strengthening of the pet travel scheme.
(Story source: BBC News)