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Wales Publishes Data on Dog Dealers

New data on commercial animal establishments in Wales has been published by the Welsh Assembly Government today (23 November). The data, showing the number and types of businesses including pet shops, breeders, sanctuaries and collectors, is being used to improve the welfare of animals across Wales.

The three-year Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme (CAWES) is unique to Wales. It was set up by the Welsh Assembly Government in 2008-9 to promote companion animal welfare and to gather data on the number and types of commercial animal establishments in Wales. Licensed and unlicensed premises were included, in order to establish a baseline.
Speaking at the Animal Welfare Network Wales/CAWES Animal Welfare conference, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Christianne Glossop, said: “This baseline data gives us a clear picture of the numbers and types of commercial animal establishments in Wales. Having this data means we are much better placed to understand and tackle companion animal welfare issues.”
The biggest change noted between figures gathered in Year 1 (2008-9) and Year 2 (2009-10) is the significant reduction of unlicensed dog breeding premises. The number of equine dealers found by local authorities has more than doubled and there has also been a significant increase in livery premises. This does not necessarily represent an increase in any type of activity but are the results of improved identification and reporting of findings.
Dr Glossop added: “The data collected is leading to real improvements in animal welfare in Wales. For example, last month the Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones announced proposed major changes to dog breeding legislation, and is currently seeking views on those plans.
“These regulations bring the welfare obligations in the Animal Welfare Act into the licensing of dog breeders and fits well with the aspirations of the GB Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.”

Baseline data


The Year 2 figures are presented alongside those of Year 1, with a change figure upwards or downwards as appropriate. 


In 2008-09, the first year that baseline data was gathered, the process was untried and varied between local authorities. Also a number of authorities started the process late in that year; the data reflects the limited information available to local authorities at 31 March 2009.  Conwy County Borough Council declined to participate in CAWES and therefore no figures are available from that local authority.


The lack of statistical robustness of the data does not allow for trends to be measured – it merely reflects the data available to a particular local authority at the recording date.


Total Number of Operators/Businesses relating to Companion Animals in Wales





As identified on 31 March 2010





Year 1

Year 2


Premises Type








Pet Shop (Licensed)




Pet Shop (Unlicensed)




Animal Boarding Establishment (Licensed)




Animal Boarding Establishment (Unlicensed)




Dog Breeding (Licensed)




Dog Breeding (Unlicensed)




Dog Breeding (Exempt)




Breeder of other species




Riding (Licensed)




Riding (Unlicensed)








Zoos (Licensed)








Dangerous Wild Animals (DWA) (Licensed)




















Licensed: establishment in possession of the appropriate licence as required by relevant legislation.

Unlicensed: establishment operating without the appropriate required licence.

Dog Breeding (exempt): those operators/owners breeding dogs that are exempt from requiring a licence as set out in the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (as amended).

Breeder of other species: operators/owners breeding any companion animal species other than dogs.  These breeders do not need licences for their activities as breeders, but may require licensing under other legislation, e.g. pet shops.

Livery: the widest definition has been applied, and covers a range from land rented for horse keeping to fully serviced establishments.

Collector: this has been interpreted widely, but generally has been understood as an individual who keeps a number of different specimens of the same species for non-commercial purposes.

Dangerous Wild Animal (DWA): keepers of species that fall within the parameters of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and therefore requiring a licence.

Sanctuary/Refuge: the widest definition has been applied in this category to include all those keepers taking in animals to keep indefinitely or to rehome.

Dealer: this has been interpreted widely, but generally has been understood as an individual who trades in companion animal species to a greater or lesser extent, other than through a pet shop or dog breeding establishment.

Other: this category includes other establishments concerned with handling companion animal species and include groomers, walkers, sitters, behaviourists etc.

Source: – the K9 Magazine blog

Wales Publishes Data on Dog Dealers

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