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First dog breeder signs up to Buy With Confidence scheme

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has become the first in the UK to bring a dog breeder on to the national Buy With Confidence Scheme.

Knocking Stone Kennels, of Mynydd Y Garreg, has signed up to the scheme, which provides consumers with a list of local businesses that have given their commitment to trading responsibly and fairly.

Every business the council signs up undergoes a rigorous vetting process before being approved as a member of the scheme.

Becoming a member allows the business to display the Trading Standards Approved Badge, and provides their customers with additional reassurance that they are buying or commissioning services from a responsible trader.

Carmarthenshire County Council has a strong and proactive approach to enforcing dog breeding standards.

Bringing responsible breeders on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme allows the council to further strengthen the standards it expects from breeders.

The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “This scheme helps protect customers from rogue traders and illegitimate businesses. It also gives them peace of mind about the products and services they are purchasing.

“Our animal health team proactively enforces dog breeding standards in Carmarthenshire and are constantly striving to improve conditions in this industry. Bringing breeders on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme is another way of encouraging licensed breeders to be responsible, and is in addition to the process of vetting and inspections with standard licensing.

“We have worked closely with Knocking Stone Kennels to bring them on board with this scheme, and hope that they will be the first of many.”

Knocking Stone Kennels has been established for 50 years, specialising in Yorkshire Terriers and other toy breeds.

Owner, Linda Baxter said: “We are delighted to become a member of the Trading Standards Buy with Confidence Scheme and to be approved and accepted as the very first dog breeder on the scheme in Carmarthenshire, Wales and UK. A big thank you to the council’s animal welfare team for their help and guidance through the process and to Trading Standards for entrusting us on the scheme.”

Carmarthenshire County Council licenses over 80 dog breeders across the county, allowing them to enforce standards and carry out regular inspections.

The council employs a qualified vet to complete inspections and dedicated investigation officers proactively monitor selling sites and visit premises to pursue action.

Over the last year, the council has prosecuted four breeders, confiscating over £275,000 by means of Proceeds of Crime which has been reinvested into the pursuit of illegal activity and substandard licensed conditions.

It is now working to encourage other breeders to come on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme to provide added reassurance to their customers.

Anyone who would like further information about joining the scheme, or who is looking for a registered trader, can visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

Lee Waters MS and Cllr Tina Higgins have backed a commitment by the Welsh Labour Government to improve welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises in Wales.

Welsh Labour’s Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has said she will act immediately to strengthen how the law is applied across Wales.

And she has re-confirmed the Welsh Government will take forward Lucy’s Law and ban third party puppy and kitten sales.

It comes as a review of the existing laws by the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, called for greater consistency in the inspection and enforcement of breeding regulations and a review of the licensing process, including application of a staff to adult dog ratio appropriate to the breeding premises. These actions can quickly improve the welfare of dogs in Wales. The Group also recognised the need for better welfare standards for all breeding dogs in Wales rather than only those at licensed premises.

All of these changes can be implemented straight away, and should improve animal welfare quickly. A bill to ban third party puppy and kitten sales will be introduced to implement Lucy’s Law.

Last year, Councillor Tina Higgins successfully brought a motion to the full Carmarthenshire County Council calling on the council to support Lucy’s Law, a national campaign calling for a ban on puppies being sold by dealers and other third parties. The motion was successfully carried, and Cllr Higgins has led the campaign for better animal welfare standards in Carmarthenshire.

Lee Waters MS said:

“I welcome the commitment made by the Welsh Labour Government to drive up the welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises – it’s something I have long campaigned for.

“We all want to see the highest welfare standards for animals in Wales. So it’s good news some of the recommendations can be delivered through existing legislation and enacted quickly.

“The combination of new regulations on pet sales and dedicated funding for enforcement and delivery of the breeding regulations will result in lasting improvements to the welfare standards of puppies bred in Wales.”

Cllr Tina Higgins said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that the Welsh Government have taken action to strengthen and implement Lucy’s Law here in Wales, and drive up standards for all dogs being used for breeding.

“We can learn from elsewhere and help make sure that Wales has the best animal welfare standards in the UK.”

“I’ll be making sure Carmarthenshire Council is ready to use its powers to protect animals being bred here.”

Community

Eggstra special Easter treat for Carmarthenshire children

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VULNERABLE children and children of critical workers in Carmarthenshire will be getting an eggstra special Easter treat this year.

Kind donations of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns are being delivered to all the childcare hubs and food hubs in the county.

The childcare hubs have been set up to look after the children of critical workers and to support vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of food hubs have also been set up by the council across the county to help families in need. Children who are entitled to free school meals also receive food supplies to feed the whole family.

Now thanks to the generosity of local businesses and organisations, the children and staff are guaranteed a very ‘hoppy’ Easter.

Food wholesaler Bookers in Carmarthen have given 50 boxes of Cadbury’s crème eggs to share out between the food hubs for children receiving free school meals – that’s a total of 1,968 eggs!

And the Co-op stores in Ammanford and Burry Port, Morrisons in Llanelli, Carmarthen and Llanelli Rotary Clubs, and Llandeilo Town Council have donated Easter eggs to give out to all the children attending the care hubs.

Morrisons in Carmarthen are also providing Easter eggs for all the staff working in the hubs on Good Friday; and Carmarthen-based Hafod Bakery will also be making a special delivery of hot cross buns and loaves of bread.

Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “I would like to thank everyone involved for their generosity, both the children and staff will be delighted.

“It is particularly important at this difficult time that we remain positive and take joy in all that we can. These Easter eggs will put a big smile on all the children’s faces, and it also shows how much we appreciate the hard work of all the staff.

“This is an excellent example of what we are trying to achieve as part of our SirGâredig campaign – the incredible community spirit and kindness that is taking place throughout Carmarthenshire during the pandemic.

“It is at times like these that we see the good in people, and I am proud of the people of Carmarthenshire for the support and kindness they are showing one another in these challenging times.”

Thanks also to Morrisons in Carmarthen for delivering Easter eggs to our bin collection crews at the Cillefwr depot today (Thursday, April 9), they were very happy indeed!

If you have an act of kindness you would like to share, please tweet us @CarmsCouncil using the hashtag #SirGaredig or post on our Facebook page @CarmarthenshireCC

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Community

Supporting vulnerable children and their families

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SUPPORT for vulnerable children and their families is continuing during the coronavirus crisis.

Staff from Education and Children’s Services are continuing to offer wellbeing support as well as respite to families that need it.

With schools closed, headteachers and staff at specialist settings are making regular contact to make sure children are receiving the support they need and that the family is coping.

Other families with children that require individual support have been contacted directly by one of the council’s family liaison officers to find out what support is needed and how best it can be delivered, either through one of the childcare hubs, or through alternative arrangements.

Some pupils who need additional support are having their needs met through the childcare hubs and the feedback from parents is that it is working well.

Although schools are closed, Area 43, the school-based counselling service can still be accessed by children and young people from Year 5 upwards. Staff are available to provide information, support and counselling remotely; either online, by telephone or text and through its social media pages. Visit Area43.co.uk for more details.

Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “Respite and support services are continuing for vulnerable children, and will continue to do so as long as staff remain well, and families want and need it.

“It is more important than ever that we have this support in place for families, and it is also important that our young people can still access the counselling service whilst the schools are closed. This is a very difficult and uncertain time for everyone, and this type of support is essential.

“I am also very pleased to receive positive feedback from parents of children with additional learning needs that are using the hubs.”

If you have any concerns about a child or young person, please get in touch by emailing CRTChildren@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or by calling 01554 742322. If a problem occurs out of office hours that cannot wait, please call 0300 333 2222.

More information and support for parents can be found at newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/coronavirus

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Community

Lottery win for local neighbours

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Two people in Ferryside are celebrating today after winning £1,000 each thanks to their lucky postcode.

The neighbours netted the windfall when SA17 5YP was announced as a Daily Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery on Wednesday 8th April 2020.

People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt sent her well-wishes to the winners. She said: “Congratulations to our winners! What a great surprise for them, I hope they enjoy their winnings.”

A minimum of 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £500 million to date for thousands of good causes in Britain and beyond.

This draw was promoted by Maggie’s which has received over £16.1 million in funding from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Maggie’s runs a network of cancer support centres across the country. These centres bring people together to help combat the isolation and distress that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis.

Many good causes close to the winners have also benefitted from players’ support, and local charities can next apply for funding in August.

For more information on People’s Postcode Lottery, please visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk or Facebook and Twitter.

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