Updated: Sep 30
A leading campaigner on bettering animal welfare in Wales has spoken of her shock following the news that more than 200 breeding bitches, stud dogs and newly born puppies have been rescued from an unlicensed breeder. The multi-agency operation carried out over the weekend followed a seven-month investigation.
Now, the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has spoken of the need for Welsh Government Ministers to undertake collaborative conversations with their counterparts in the UK Government to ensure that social media networks are playing their role in enforcing lawful sales.
Likewise, in a reply to Janet’s recent Written Question on whether the Welsh Government will make pet theft a specific offence, similar to that proposed in England, Lesley Griffiths MS has confirmed that “the Welsh Government is in discussions with the UK Government on their proposals, which have arisen from the report and recommendations from the Pet Theft Taskforce.”
Making clear the need for action, Janet said:
“The situation that preempted this rescue campaign is wholly heart-breaking and goes some way to underline the importance of the new regulations on the sale of third-party puppy and kittens. These regulations, which I was pleased to have campaigned on for some time, were a significant and positive step in the right direction for animal welfare in Wales. “However, the delay in the introduction of a Welsh version of Lucy’s Law should continue to be a moment of national reflection as to how effective our legislative process is. We should be doing more to push forward a bettering of animal welfare, more quickly. This is why I continue to hold Welsh Government’s feet to the fire when it comes to online sales. “The trade of puppies and kittens continues to be attractive because of the large profits, with criminals often looking to put in the absolute minimum amount of effort and investment when it comes to welfare. With the online selling space appearing to be a virtual wild west, collaboration with the UK Government has to be undertaken to ensure that all regulations are enforced. “Constituents from across Aberconwy also tell me that they remain greatly concerned about their well-being when taking their pets for a walk for fear of possible theft attempts. With this in mind, I would encourage the Minister to fast-track her discussions with the UK Government on the pet theft offence proposal to ensure that it can be enforced here in Wales.”
Photo: Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS