Devolution, Law Making & Constitution

Following the onset of devolution, powers relating to animal health and welfare were increasingly devolved to Wales. Further to the results of the referendum on March 3rd 2011, animal welfare officially became a matter of the Senedd's concern, excluding hunting and animal experimentation.  The Animal Welfare Act 2006 is the primary vehicle for animal welfare legislation in Wales.

The way in which legislation is made in Wales can have a significant impact upon both animal welfare and the work of RSPCA Cymru.

As devolution enters a new era with the arrival of the Welsh Parliament, RSPCA Cymru continues to call for reform of law-making mechanisms to ensure better scrutiny of key proposals impacting upon animal welfare. We urge new Members of the Senedd to support secondary, or subordinate, legislative proposals to be subject to amendment and to enhance the voice of the public and stakeholders within consultative procedures.

We want to see more regular, timetabled ballots for Proposed Members Bills, offering more opportunities for animal welfare laws to be considered.


EU legislation has had a significant impact on the welfare of animals in Wales, covering domestic pets, wildlife and farmed animals. RSPCA Cymru will continue to look at European Union directives and regulations that have an impact on animal welfare in Wales and will work to ensure that the welfare of animals is not forgotten during the negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.  

RSPCA Cymru believes that there are opportunities to improve animal welfare following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, including restricting the time allowed for animals to be transported, improving the living conditions and slaughter of animals and abolishing Pillar One payments and putting funding into a reformed Pillar Two scheme.