- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
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Mike Hedges MS questions Welsh Government Minister on Pet Ownership
Speaking from his Senedd office, Mike Hedges MS said.. ‘it always surprises me that there are no rel check’s on pet owners until they may have done something wrong; I feel very strongly that some basic checks on their ability to keep an animal as a pet should be made BEFORE they are able to buy a pet. An online test to check people are aware of what is involved in keeping a pet will ensure that people considering buying a pet will at least think about their responsibilities and it may open people’s eyes to what is required.
I hope that other animal welfare charities will follow the lead of The Dogs Trust and offer on going support to people who re home a pet.
I would still like to see an online test to be brought in, even if it were only for unusual pets which seem to be growing in popularity; snakes and things like iguanas appear now regularly in pet shops and it would be good to ensure that people looking to purchase them were aware of what owning such a pet entails.
It may seem to be a bit of a fuss over nothing, but if it help prevents any instances of animal maltreatment then it will have been worth it!’
Questions to Environment Minister 15 September 2021
Mike Hedges MS – Anyone who has not been barred by a court can buy an animal. There are no tests for ownership, no statutory instructions of how to look after animals. Is it any surprise that so many animals are badly treated, not always because people want to badly treat them, but due to ignorance? Will the Government introduce some online instructions and tests for those seeking to buy different animals as pets, which would then have to be passed prior to purchase, so people know what they’re doing when they take on an animal? And maybe sometimes they’ll decide not to buy it because of the amount of work it involves.102
Obviously, responsible ownership of animals is something that we have a keen interest in as a Government, and it’s a priority, I know, for the Wales animal health and welfare framework group. I’m not sure testing those people who purchase animals is the right approach. I wonder who would be the target audience, for instance. I wonder who would police it. What I do think is important is that we look at regulation, we look at enforcement of animal welfare.
Last week, I attended the new Dogs Trust facility in Cardiff, where I launched the ban on commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens, and I was very interested to know—. I knew that the Dogs Trust, if you had a dog from them—if they re-homed a dog with you—they continued to offer support. What I didn’t realise was that they are open to supporting anyone who takes in a re-homed pet for approximately four weeks, I think the course is. So, I think it’s really important that we take advantage of schemes like that also.