The National Assembly for Wales
In 1999 the RSPCA was proud to be one of the first non-governmental organisations to appoint a dedicated member of staff to liaise with the Assembly. Animal welfare issues were far more limited in the initial years of devolution, but have multiplied considerably in the intervening years.
New powers on both animal health and welfare followed the devastating outbreak of Foot and Mouth in 2001 and further powers, particularly within the pet sector, were transferred when the Animal Welfare Act (2006) was passed in Westminster. Through a continual drip effect animal welfare became a de facto devolved area, but following the results of the referendum on March 3rd 2011 it is now officially a matter of the Assembly’s concern.
Hunting remains within the purview of Westminster as detailed in the Government of Wales Act (2006) and the responsibility for the regulation of animal experiments is reserved to the Home Office, but the remaining areas are devolved to Wales.
The Assembly implemented the Animal Welfare Act in Wales in March of 2007, whereas in England this came into force in April 2007.
Animals are high in the public consciousness in Wales, with 43% recorded as owning a pet animal in the Welsh Government's Household survey (chapter 12), this is in addition to animals kept in commercial premises and Wales' strong tradition in agriculture.
The main aims of the Society’s work in Wales are:
- To change laws and policy to improve animal welfare;
- To raise awareness of the values of the RSPCA;
- To provide an information service to government, politicians, their staff and all relevant stakeholders on animal welfare issues.
The team in Wales are members of Public Affairs Cymru, and abide by its Code of Practice. We also adhere to the following guiding principles:
- The external affairs team at the RSPCA takes its work in the political and public affairs arena seriously and is committed to encouraging best practice amongst other public affairs professionals;
- The external affairs team will deal with individuals, organisations and all institutions of government with honesty, transparency and integrity;
- The external affairs team will also take reasonable steps to establish that information supplied to them or by them is factually accurate and honest and not knowingly misleading.
Sound scientific opinion
The RSPCA always bases its policies on sound science and any issue which we respond to will always be backed up by advice from our highly qualified scientific departments. The team has a number of briefings for politicians and their staff on a variety of issues, some of which can be found on these pages. If there is an issue not covered on this site that you need information on, please contact us.
You should also take a look at our animal welfare indicators section, which gathers together annual statistics on many different areas including animal fighting, farming and pets.
Contact the team
You can find us on Political Animal, our dedicated website for decision makers.