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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 18/10/2019

A bit of a pickle

It would appear that the Welsh government has got itself in a bit a pickle. 
On one hand local councils in the Principality are giving licences to disgraceful puppy farmers who treat dogs like dirt. On the other hand they issue proposals for decent dog exhibitors to get a licence to show their dogs at dog shows in Wales.
I am well aware that these are just proposals at the moment and they are out for public consultation. Often a government will kite fly a stupid idea just to see how far it will go. Hopefully, this kite will sink to the ground.
The great thing about the Lucy’s Law campaign to ban the third party sales of puppies was that it said that the simplest way of dealing with the situation is to ban the practice. That makes it simple and there is no grey area. It will be illegal for third parties to sell puppies. Once you go down the road of licensing you create loopholes and problems, it is always best to keep things simple.
Licensing per se is not a bad thing. Licensing of pubs, for interest, I heartily agree with being partial to the odd pint of ale. Seriously, some things do need licensing but to even consider calling for dog exhibitors to require a licence to show their dogs seems to be the height of bureaucratic nonsense.
The motivation may be, as it usually is by any government, a money making one as if we all have to get licences they will make a few quid. Although I suspect if we have to get a licence many of us will not bother.
There are people who say that we have over-reacted to these proposals but the fact that within the guidance dog shows are on their radar when they say, ‘pet dogs exhibited at local dog shows once or twice a year for recreational purposes’ will be OK. The implication is if you show dogs more often than, ‘once or twice’ you may need a licence.
Also it has been pointed out that there are already rules and regulations required for people that show dogs and I know, speaking personally, that we love our dogs and would not want them to come to any harm.
We need to make them see that this plan is completely unworkable and that they should make sure dog shows are exempted from these proposals.
Coming on to puppy farms it has been well known for years that there has been a problem with puppy farms in Wales. Many have pointed out that there is really no distinction to make between legal and illegal puppy farms. It is clear that the licensing officers were unable to do their job properly and that there is something wrong with the process.
I have friends who live in Pontypridd and they do not have many kind words to say about the assembly. Having seen the Welsh government dealing with these two issues I think I now understand what they are talking about.
Yours etc
Sam Bush

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