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Wales confirms new measures to improve pet welfare
"The illegal importation of puppies, driven by huge demand, continues to be a problem.”
Officials to review puppy sales and microchipping rules 

The Welsh Government is set to consider a ban on third party puppy sales, as well as a series of other measures to improve pet welfare.

Cabinet secretary Lesley Griffiths announced this week that a review of microchipping legislation will be carried out to determine whether it should be extended to other species, including cats. Research will also explore current levels of compliance and enforcement.

Commenting on a potential ban on third party puppy sales, Ms Griffiths said she believes it is “worthy of investigation” and officials will discuss options for taking this legislation forward.

She explained: “In Wales, we demand high standards from our licensed breeders and sourcing a healthy puppy which can be seen with its mother, or rehoming an animal from a reputable Animal Welfare Establishment, is the first, fundamental step towards being a responsible owner.

“Yet the illegal importation of puppies, driven by huge demand, continues to be a problem.”

The government will also look at the veterinary care, assistance and advice available to those who need help caring for their pets, owing to a change in their circumstances. This could apply to people in times of illness or emergency, including those fleeing domestic abuse.

Additionally, revised codes of practice for horses and dogs will be published before the summer recess and a consultation on the revised cat code will begin in autumn. Meanwhile, the rabbit code is under review and the government is considering whether further codes are needed for other species, such as primates and other exotic pets, or racing greyhounds.

Ms Griffiths commented: “As a Government, animal welfare is a priority for us.  In Wales, we pride ourselves on having excellent animal welfare standards and expect everyone to reflect this by being responsible owners…

“Embedding a culture of responsible ownership cannot be achieved in isolation and I am grateful for the dedication and passion shown towards animals in Wales. There is always more that can be done but we are proud, as a nation, to be leading the way in raising standards of animal welfare.”   

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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at karen.hockley@dechra.com or 087 219 54 30.