A consultation on the banning of third-party sales of puppies and kittens has today been launched by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.
Currently, puppies or kittens can either be purchased via a third-party seller, directly from a breeder or from a rescue/rehoming centre.
Commercial third-party sellers are those who are licensed pet sellers; in Wales they will hold a licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951.
The UK government last summer it will ban the sale of puppies and kittens by third-party sellers and pet shops.
According to estimates, between 40,000 and 80,000 puppies and kittens are sold via third parties in Great Britain each year.
There are concerns commercial third-party sales lead to poorer welfare conditions for the animals, compared to when people buy direct from the breeder.
For example, this might include the introduction to several new and unfamiliar environments and the increased likelihood of multiple journeys the puppies or kittens have to undertake.
The consultation will last for three months and will gather information on the supply chain of puppies and kittens and help identify where Government intervention will have the greatest impact.
Lesley Griffiths said: “Ensuring high standards of animal welfare is a priority for the Welsh Government.
“There is clear evidence that the sale of puppies and kittens via third parties has the potential to contribute to an increased risk of disease and a lack of socialisation and habituation for the puppies and kittens compared to when people buy directly from the breeder.
“The vast majority of those buying a new puppy or kitten do so with the best of intentions. However, it is not always immediately apparent to the buyer where their new pet originated, or in what conditions it was raised.
This consultation is an opportunity to gather as much information as possible to enable us to make lasting improvements to the welfare of puppies and kittens bred in Wales. Banning commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens may only be one aspect of this.
“I urge anyone with an interest in animal welfare to get involved and share their views with us on how we can improve the conditions of sale and ensure good welfare practices.”
The consultation on the impact of a ban on third-party sales of puppies and kittens in Wales will run from today until 17 May.
The Welsh Government information did not contain any information on where or how people can take part in the consultation.
We will update this once we have located it, as at the time of publication (00:05) it is not showing on the Gov.Wales consultations site despite a very specific embargo.