Following the publication earlier this year of new pet vending regulations, as laid out in the draft Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Wales) Regulations 2021, more commonly known as Lucy’s Law, the Welsh Government has subsequently published draft guidance to ensure that low volume breeders are not disproportionately or unfairly targeted as part of these regulations, and that animal welfare is protected.
The Kennel Club had previously raised concerns of the negative consequences surrounding the proposed pet vending regulations which would have potentially brought breeders of one and two litters into pet shop licensing in Wales, therefore deterring hobby breeders from continuing, and could have resulted in an increase in puppy importing and farming.
The new guidance, which has now been released for public consultation, recognises that hobby breeders are not businesses and therefore should not be subject to licensing and The Kennel Club is now calling on dog breeders in Wales to respond to the consultation.
Dr Ed Hayes, Head of Public Affairs at The Kennel Club commented: “We are very pleased to see that the Welsh Government has acknowledged our concerns. The Kennel Club has long campaigned for the ban on third party sales of puppies and so fully supports the main aim of this legislation, but it is more important than ever that low volume hobby breeders are able to continue breeding responsibly and meet market demand with happy and healthy puppies.
“We believe that the amended draft guidance makes it clear that hobby breeders should be out of the scope of pet vending licensing and trust that the accompanying definition of a hobby breeder is fair. We therefore would strongly encourage all low volume hobby breeders in Wales to respond to the consultation supporting the definition of a hobby breeder to ensure this is upheld.
“Additionally, we are urging all licensed breeders in Wales to review the Government’s consultation on licensing conditions and respond with their views.”
To respond to the pet vending consultation, which closes on 1 October.
Separately the Welsh Government is also consulting on a small number of proposed amendments to the licensing conditions for licensed dog breeders in Wales, which will apply to those breeders who require a dog breeding licence, covering breeders who have three or more litters a year.
To respond to the dog breeding licensing conditions consultation, which closes on 17 September.
More information about breeding regulations across the UK is available on The Kennel Club website.