Stricter rules around the selling of puppies and kittens have come into force in Wales from today.
Under new laws it is now illegal for people to sell puppies and kittens that they have not bred themselves in their own homes or premises. When the animals are being sold, breeders must also ensure that the mother is present.
It means that puppies and kittens can only be bought from the place where they were bred or from a rescue centre in Wales.
Puppies and kittens sold through third parties may have travelled long distances or experienced several new environments at a young age - leading to an increased risk of health problems.
It is hoped the new laws will improve animal welfare in Wales.
Paula Boyden, from the Dogs Trust, described the law as an "important step" but said more needs to be done.
She said: "This is just one piece of the puzzle to putting a stop to this awful trade. Dogs Trust welcomes working with the Welsh Government, and our colleagues in the animal welfare sector, to look at the necessary additional measures needed to ensure the ban is robust and enforceable. We hope this will include regulation of rehoming organisations and sanctuaries, full traceability of all puppies being bred and sold, and a strengthening of the pet travel scheme.
“We look forward to working with the Minister to better safeguard the welfare of breeding dogs and puppies sold in Wales.”
During a visit to the Dogs Trust's new centre in Cardiff, the Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said pets must not be subjected to unacceptable conditions that cause disease and trauma.
She said: “The new regulations coming in to force will help to encourage respectful and responsible attitudes, particularly the developing attitudes of children and young people who are the future pet owners in Wales. They will also raise awareness of licensed premises and their eligibility to sell pets, and will empower Local Authorities to take action if they have concerns about how puppies and kittens are being bred and sold.
“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in preparing this piece of work, including vets, Local Authorities, animal welfare charities and members of the public, whose support on this important piece of legislation has been invaluable.”