Wales consults on puppy and kitten welfare
The Welsh Government has launched a three-month consultation to explore the possibility of banning third party puppy and kitten sales.
Estimates suggest between 40,000 and 80,000 puppies and kittens are sold each year via third parties in Great Britain.
Government officials said there are concerns that commercial third party sales lead to poorer welfare conditions for animals, compared to when people buy from breeders.
The consultation aims to gather information on the supply chain of puppies and kittens, to identify areas where government intervention will be most effective.
Environment minister Lesley Griffiths said: “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.”
The minister urged anyone with an interest in animal welfare to share their views. The consultation will run from 19 February until 17 May.