CAWGW at the Senedd

Monday 17th April 2023

Companion Animal Welfare Group Wales were delighted to host a drop-in event at the Senedd Cymru last November. It was a great opportunity to speak to Senedd Members about our policies, priorities and ambitions for animal welfare in Wales and how they could help improve the lives of companion animals across Wales.

We welcomed Senedd Members from all parties, demonstrating the strong cross-party support there is for companion animal welfare in Wales and the commitment of those who joined us to deliver progress for companion animals.

From Welsh Labour we welcomed Vikki Howells, who kindly sponsored the event, Mike Hedges and David Rees. Samuel Kurtz, Altaf Hussain and Darren Millar of the Welsh Conservatives attended as did Plaid Cymru’s Mabon ap Gwynfor, Luke Fletcher and Peredur Owen Griffiths; and Jane Dodds from the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

We highlighted some of the key issues currently affecting the sector, including:

  • Microchipping is the only safe and permanent way to identify a cat and mandatory microchipping could help lost cats be reunited with their owners. We have welcomed the upcoming review of the Microchipping of Dogs (Wales) Regulations 2015.
  • To further protect the nation’s companion animals, the Welsh Government needs to pursue a comprehensive pack of measures including a robust and comprehensive licencing and registration system, with a central database, to increase transparency.
  • On livestock worrying, we highlighted that better and more reliable data on the issue will inform us on how to help prevent incidents. Preventative measures such as clear and up-to-date signage to indicate entry points and the presence of livestock are really useful to support responsible dog ownership.

The latest PDSA Pet Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report Wales 2022 showed that 26% of the Welsh Population has a cat and 33% has a dog. There are believed to be an estimated 600,000 owned cats and 600,000 owned dogs in Wales, so it is vitally important that our sector drives forward positive change for companion animals from the North Wales coast to the South.

Established in 2018, CAWGW is a sector group that brings together expertise and focus from across the companion animal field. We are always working to improve the welfare of companion animals in Wales, currently focusing on cats and dogs. Our organisations provide services and support for thousands of companion animals across Wales, including pet care clinics, rehoming services, information centres, community and school education and outreach, as well as a range of other services.

In the year ahead, we look forward to working across the sector, with Welsh Government and the Senedd, to improve the lives welfare of companion animals. We are always open to new collaborations and are excited about what the rest of 2023 has to offer – keep an eye on our website and twitter feed to stay up to date.