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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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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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News Shorts
BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.