But remains concerned that local authorities will face
The Kennel Club has welcomed revised regulations on dog breeding
in Wales as the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales)
Regulations 2014 is debated today (9 December) by the Welsh
government. However, the organisation remains concerned that
by setting a lower licencing threshold, local authorities will
struggle to inspect breeding premises with their already stretched
resources and that 'hobby breeders' will be targeted rather than
the focus being on larger scale puppy farmers.
The Kennel Club supports the strengthening of licensing
requirements in order that breeders will need to demonstrate how
they will provide environmental enrichment for the dogs they keep
and how they socialise puppies, which is expected of responsible
breeders and is a key part of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder
Within the conditions of a licence, the holder must ensure that a
breeding bitch does not give birth to more than one litter within a
twelve month period and does not give birth to more than six
litters in total.
Whilst the Kennel Club welcomes the tightening up of dog breeding
regulations in Wales, the regulations, which are set to come into
force on 30 April 2015, will make it a legal requirement for anyone
who breeds three or more litters within any twelve month period
and/or those keeping three or more breeding bitches on their
premises, to hold a breeding license from their local authority.
This reduction in the existing legal threshold for breeding
is likely to put additional pressure on already strained local
authorities, which is why the Kennel Club has offered to train
local authority inspectors to the standard of its own
UKAS-accredited Assured Breeder Scheme, or for local authorities to
employ Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme assessors to inspect on
their behalf. The Kennel Club will continue to engage with
the Welsh Assembly Government and Welsh local authorities regarding
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Wales has long had a
poor reputation when it comes to dog breeding so we are pleased
that the Welsh government has showed commitment to improving
breeding standards within its legal framework.
"We are concerned however that reducing the legal threshold for
the number of litters a breeder can produce without a licence, from
five to three, may result in local authorities being overwhelmed
with additional work and could see the new regulations becoming a
burdensome task for local authorities rather than a useful
tool. Furthermore, we do not want to see things being made
difficult for responsible hobby breeders simply because they are
'visible', whilst large scale puppy farmers who hide their
activities continue to flout the law and avoid restrictions.
"In order to assist local authorities, the Kennel Club has offered
to train local authority inspectors, which would enable Kennel Club
Assured Breeder Scheme assessors to pass on best practice and
ensure that inspectors are most effectively inspecting breeding
premises, and we look forward to progressing this."
The full version of the regulations can be found at http://tinyurl.com/n37c8mr.
More information on the Kennel Club's campaign to tackle puppy
farming can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/stoppuppyfarming.