Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food
I am pleased to announce that the revised Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations have been laid today and a Plenary debate will be held on 9 December 2014.
As I advised in my Written Statement of 22 September I made a decision to remove reference to microchipping in this set of Regulations and to undertake a series of meetings with key stakeholders including local authority and the third sector representatives to discuss my planned approach. I have also met with Opposition Spokespeople and the Chair of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, David Melding AM.
These Regulations have had an extremely long journey and are much awaited. The third sector representatives I spoke to emphasised that, whilst they may not meet everyone’s exact wishes and desires, they are supportive of bringing them forward sooner rather than later.
One of the key issues highlighted by all is enforcement. The local authorities need support in relation to Guidance and templates and the third sector have offered support in delivery. The finer details of how the process of good enforcement, across Wales, will be worked on in the coming months and I have charged my officials to drive this forward.
I will also require local authorities to provide the Welsh Government with feedback on the effectiveness of these Regulations in meeting their aim which is to improve the welfare of animals kept and bred on these premises.
The development work on the Animal Welfare (Identification Regulations) (Wales) Regulations continues and I have asked my officials to work closely with their counterparts in the UK Government on issues that are common to both England and Wales.
I will provide further updates as this work progresses.