Puppy farms in Ireland

Gorgeous pups like Honey are much desired, which is what drives the demand for puppy farmers

The ISPCA rescued 340 dogs from a puppy farm last month. On Ireland AM, we discussed the issue of puppy farms in Ireland.

Last month, the ISPCA, accompanied by the gardai, raided a puppy farm which had been registered under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010. The conditions were described as “absolutely horrendous”, with ISPCA Inspectors seizing 52 dogs of mixed breed and type. There were also dead animals scattered around the site. The rescued animals were transported to the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford where they received much-needed veterinary attention. Shortly after the raid, a closure notice was served on the premises and the remaining 250 dogs removed and cared for by the ISPCA and Dogs Trust, who worked together on this challenging situation.

It’s only five years since Ireland introduced the “puppy farm legislation” in the form of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act. What could be wrong that allowed such a disgraceful situation to occur on premises that were actually registered, and had been inspected by the local authority? The answer is simple: under the current rules, owners of dog breeding establishments are given notice of several weeks before an inspection by the local authority vet. In some ways, this may seem fair, but in practice, in the current instance, it meant that the situation on the ground could be tweaked to comply with animal welfare regulations at the time of the inspection. After that, cynically, standards were allowed to drop, with more breeding animals being moved in, and less care given to them all. This type of abuse of the system can only lead to one remedy: the introduction of random, unannounced spot checks of all puppy farms. The ISPCA is now calling on the government to introduce these as soon as possible.

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