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Welsh government pledges to improve RSPCA powers
RSPCA Cymru has to rely on other public bodies to complete some duties.
RSPCA officers currently have no formal powers.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Cymru has welcomed a pledge from the incoming Welsh government to introduce ‘additional enforcement powers’ for its officers.

Vaughan Gething MS, who took office as first minister last week, made the pledge in his leadership manifesto, as part of a commitment to make Wales a leader on animal welfare standards in the UK.

Mr Gething has also appointed Huw Irranca-Davies MS as cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs, and so he will oversee animal welfare policies in Wales.

RSPCA’s officers do not currently have any formal powers to respond to animal welfare emergencies, meaning that some duties are handled by other public bodies. As part of the charity’s strategy, it is working towards statutory powers for its inspectors in Wales and England by 2030.

As animal welfare is devolved in Wales, the decision to give the RSPCA formal recognition under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 will be with the Welsh government and the Senedd.

Mr Irranca-Davies has previously supported a move to give RSPCA statutory powers in a debate in the Senedd, saying that the move would reduce the burden on other enforcement bodies, and ‘streamline the process fantastically’.

RSPCA Cymru stated that the powers would enable them to respond to more situations of cruelty and neglect, without relying on other public bodies and causing animals to wait for help.

Billie-Jade Thomas, RSPCA’s senior public affairs manager for Wales, said: "It's really encouraging that the new first minister, Vaughan Gething MS, singled out this issue in his leadership manifesto - and supported additional enforcement powers for our officers. We're also really pleased his new cabinet secretary responsible for animal welfare has previously been a supporter of this too.

“We have written to them both to request meetings at their earliest convenience to discuss how we can progress this commitment together, and ensure our inspectors are even better equipped to carry out their vital work protecting animals.”

The charity also said that the formation of the new government came at an exciting time for animal welfare. Following a consultation on the licensing of animal establishments, activities and exhibits, it said that thousands of animals, including racing greyhounds, could receive stronger legal protection.

Ms Thomas added: “With the Animal Welfare Plan for Wales now in its third year, we look forward to working with the new first minister and cabinet secretary to create a Wales that is better and kinder for every animal.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.