That is an extremely fair point. Local authorities in Wales are looking at a 4% cut in their budget next year, according to the Welsh Local Government Minister. In Carmarthenshire, my home county, we have a major issue. If we are passing on those added responsibilities, resources need to come to match those responsibilities.
Finally, the regulations stipulate that puppies cannot be sold until they are at least eight weeks old and have been microchipped, as my colleague, Roger Williams, said. In
December 2013, the Welsh Government brought forward draft legislation and laid out their intention to proceed with the proposed staff-to-adult-dog ratio of 1:20. The Minister said that the introduction of regulations was scheduled for February 2014, although I am not sure what progress has been made since the announcement. Indeed, I would welcome any comments from the UK Government Minister as to what, if any, discussions have taken place with representatives from the devolved Administrations on bringing forward changes to regulations concerning the breeding and farming of animals intended as domestic pets.
Evidently, members of the public feel very strongly about this issue, and I empathise with their concerns. Those who signed the e-petition called for the Government to introduce regulations whereby the selling of kittens and puppies was banned unless their mothers were present. Puppy and kitten farming is an abhorrent practice, which must be stopped. I urge both the Welsh and UK Governments to listen to the public and act on their concerns.