TOUGHER LAWS: WAGS’s new pet regulations welcome but need funding
A council cabinet member has backed tougher laws over third-party pet sales but is “disappointed” there’s no Welsh Government cash to help enforce them.
Cllr Charlie McCoubrey, Conwy county council’s cabinet member for regulation, was speaking after the Senedd passed a vote banning the sale of puppies and kittens which the seller has not bred themselves.
It is designed to stop third party sales of pets to order and the distress caused by multiple transportations of them – and they should be sold where they were bred.
The new legislation also bans puppies and kittens from being brought into Wales to be sold.
It will be up to local authorities to police the trade but Conwy, like many other councils, has seen its enforcement capability hobbled by years of reduced budgets.
Cllr McCoubrey said the authority “welcomed” extra powers to deal with animal welfare but questioned where the money would come from for increased enforcement.
He said: “We take animal welfare really seriously in Conwy and we have won RSPCA awards for the last two years.
“If we catch people, or know of people breaking the rules we will deal with it.
“However we have to manage expectations because we have limited funding and we have to prioritise how we use it.
“It’s disappointing we will get no money from Welsh Government for this because we could improve enforcement with more resources – there’s no surplus in our budget.”
Commenting on the legislation the RSPCA also welcomed the ban which comes into force in September.
However it said had concerns regarding the lack of exemption for legitimate rescue and rehoming centres in Wales, with the impetus to interpret the regulations now also being placed on local authorities.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “The potential requirements of the new regulations were considered in a Regulatory Impact Assessment.
“Local Authorities already license pet vendors, and therefore the new regulations were not assessed as in need of further funding.
“Local Authorities are able to set appropriate licence fees, to meet anticipated costs of registration, inspection and enforcement and will be provided with further training and guidance before they come into force.”
Jez Hemming, Local Democracy Reporter
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