View Full Version : Irish Government to bring in puppy farm legislation!

30th May 2006, 02:48 PM
Environment Minister Dick Roche announced today that the government will bring in legislation laying down guidelines for running dog breeding establishments and kennel operations and targetting puppy farms in particular. This will give new power to the police and SPCAs to shut down operations not meeting minimal standards and to take dogs seized into protection. As almost no legal protection is currently available under animal welfare laws to enable this, this is very important news.

The announcement notes that the government plans to implement the recommendations of the Report from the Working Group on Dog Breeding Establishments headed by Kildare vet Finbar Heslin, who did stellar work on this. The public face pushing for the government to act was TV3 vet Pete Wedderburn in particular, joined by many other individuals and groups. Tara and Lisa from this board organised a demonstration at the Irish parliament last November that got picked up on the main evening newscast and some of the papers. Many here signed the online petition or wrote letters to the Minister on this issue. So many, many people have made contributions that have led to this happening.

I'll post some more info and links when I have their press release and so forth.

This is a very significant development for the welfare of cavaliers as they are one of the breeds most widely 'farmed' and then shipped to the UK and US.

:rah: :rah: :rah:

:w**h**: :w**h**:

30th May 2006, 03:10 PM
cl*p cl*p


30th May 2006, 03:48 PM
Excellent news! b*n*n*

Alison, Wilts, UK.

31st May 2006, 05:19 AM
This is such great news! Please keep us informed on how things are progressing. It would be so amazing if all puppy mills on both sides of the pond could be eliminated.

31st May 2006, 10:08 AM
Here's the Department's press release and the response of the main welfare group that has worked for this, the Stray Dog and Cat Forum, after it:

30 May, 2006

Roche to Introduce New Standards for Dog Breeding Establishments in Ireland

Minister implements recommendations of Working Group on the Review of the Management of Dog Breeding Establishments

Mr. Dick Roche, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government today (30 May 2006) announced that he intends to implement the recommendations in the report of the Working Group which was set up to review the management of dog breeding establishments.

The Working Group, which was appointed in September 2004, was established in response to a number of cases of mistreatment of dogs on so called
'puppy farms'. The Group was chaired by Mr. Finbarr Heslin, a prominent
veterinary surgeon, and comprised representatives from a number of
relevant organisations including the Veterinary Council of Ireland, the
Dog Breeders Association of Ireland, the Irish Kennel Club, the Irish
Greyhound Board, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, local authorities, the gardai, the Department of Agriculture
and Food as well as the Department of the Environment, Heritage and
Local Government.

The Working Group concluded that there is a need to introduce
statutorily enforceable standards for the dog breeding industry in
Ireland and proposed the introduction of a registration system for
dog breeding establishments. Three of the organisations represented
on the Group exercised the option of submitting minority reports
rather than accept the majority report.

The Minister's decision follows on from the conclusion of a public
consultation process on the matter which showed that, while there is
some opposition to the majority recommendations, there is general
support for regulation in this area.

Thanking the many individuals and organisations for their submissions
the Minister said 'I am aware that there are strongly held opinions
out there on how best to provide a properly administered and supervised
structure for dog breeding in Ireland. Having considered the many
divergent views on the issue, I have decided to proceed with the
implementation of the majority recommendations of the Working Group.
Officials from my Department will now, in consultation with the
Department of Agriculture and Food, commence working on the
introduction of the new system.'

Minister Roche was speaking at a photo-call to advertise National
Spay Week which runs from 28 May to 3 June 2006. National Spay
Week is designed to highlight the need and benefit of neutering
dogs and cats. The Minister announced a grant of euro12,500 to the
Irish Blue Cross a charity who, through their mobile clinics at
ten locations throughout Dublin, provide professional veterinary
treatment to approximately 10,000 animals each year. The grant
will be used for their subsidised neutering programme for dogs
of needy pet owners.

'I am pleased to be able to provide this grant to the Irish Blue
Cross and I commend their ongoing commitment to this worthwhile
initiative. I am very supportive of National Spay Week and I
would encourage all dog and cat owners to have their pets
neutered' he said.


For Immediate Release
30 May, 2006

Regulation of puppy farm industry is welcomed

A leading campaigner for the regulation of Ireland'?s puppy farms
has welcomed today?'s (Tuesday 30 May 2006) announcement by the
Minister of the Environment Mr. Dick Roche TD that he intends to
implement the recommendations of a working group appointed to
look into the issue.

Mr. Pete Wedderburn of the National Stray Dog and Cat Forum said
it was very important that the Minister should now follow up this
positive announcement by speedily bringing in the new regulations
and acting firmly to prevent any further suffering of animals in
unregulated breeding establishments.

?Over recent times Ireland has become known as the puppy farm
capital of Europe, an unwanted distinction that is very unfair
and damaging to the many reputable dog breeders affiliated to
the Irish Kennel Club.? He said: "I am delighted that the Minister
of Environment has announced that he is going to implement the
recommendations made in the excellent report that was commissioned
by his Department last year."

Mr. Wedderburn said that implementing the recommendations of
Working Group on the Review of the Management of Dog Breeding
Establishments would at last create a legal foundation for
eradicating the darker sides of the dog breeding industry.

?Ireland has suffered from very weak animal welfare legislation
and much work still needs to be done in a range of areas. But
large-scale unregulated dog breeding in so-called "puppy farms"
has been at the top of the welfare agenda for a long time. It is
directly connected to the crisis of unwanted dogs and the high
rate of stray dogs being euthanased at dog pounds across Ireland,"
he said.

Mr. Wedderburn said Minister Roche?'s decision to make his
announcement during Spay Week Ireland 2006 was very welcome as it
represented an important advance towards achieving the annual
campaign?s objective of reducing Ireland'?s high dog destruction rate.

?Dog breeding is something best left to properly experienced and
regulated professionals, so we wish the Minister well with the
practical task of bringing the recommendations into action,? he added.

Second page follows

Spay Week Ireland 2006

This year taking place from May 28th to June 3rd, Spay Week Ireland
2006 is a nationwide public awareness campaign that aims to reduce
the huge numbers of unwanted cats and dogs put down in Ireland every
year by persuading more owners to neuter or spay their pets.

For more information, visit: www.spayweekireland.ie

The National Stray Dog and Cat Forum

Spay Week Ireland 2006 is an initiative of The National Stray Dog
and Cat Forum. This comprises representatives from Veterinary
Ireland Companion Animal Society (VICAS), Irish Society for The
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), Irish Kennel Club (IKC),
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, plus 25 other local animal welfare
and rescue organisations, and a number of County Councils.

Dogs Trust

Spay Week Ireland 2006 is supported by international dog-welfare
charity Dogs Trust. Following a successful pilot scheme in Cork,
Dogs Trust has launched a nationwide subsidised neutering campaign
which offers dog owners on means-tested social welfare benefits
the opportunity to have their pets spayed or neutered for a nominal
fee of ?14. For further information on participating vets and
eligibility please call Dogs Trust Neutering Hotline 1890 946 336.

The Blue Cross

The Irish Blue Cross also operates a subsidised neutering scheme
throughout the year with funding from the Department of the Environment.
Working closely with the veterinary profession and local animal
welfare groups, the Blue Cross provides treatment for thousands of
needy animals each year, including 2,524 neutering operations in the
four-year period 2002-05

Press release ends


31st May 2006, 10:21 AM
What great news, lets hope they actually have wardens or something going round and checking on them all.

fuzzie bear
31st May 2006, 02:50 PM
What excellent news !

I just hope they actually do what they're saying if you know what I mean?

31st May 2006, 11:52 PM
Luckily, I did research before I got Quincy, because that was a real selling point to brag about their dogs coming from England or Ireland. I passed on those. It is heartbreaking because all they want to do is love you with all their hearts.


1st June 2006, 12:21 AM
All cavaliers came from England and many from Ireland originally! ;) Few cavaliers are more than two generations away from an English or Irish forebear. English and Irish cavaliers are also as excellent in quality as US cavaliers -- you will find many of the best US breeders and Canadian breeders have lines based on Irish or more particularly, UK imports from good breeders (there are far more breeders in the Uk than Ireland, which has less than a tenth the UK's population and a very small show scene compared to the UK). The issue is never where a dog came from geographically, but whether they came from brokers or puppy farms/puppy mills. The US has a HUGE puppy mill problem -- far more poorly bred cavaliers come out of US puppy mills than are ever produced in Ireland or the UK in any given year. There are enormous operations all through the midwest in particular as well as in Amish areas (sadly); just ONE of these operations may produce thousands of puppies every year. Most of the US market for cavaliers is filled by backyard-bred or these puppy mill cavaliers bred in the US -- not from Ireland or the UK. Many of the sites that look like they are small breeders are actually fronts for puppy farmers -- I've done searches on some of those that say they are offering just cavaliers and maybe one other breed, supposedly health tested etc, and Google turned up a dozen other sites for the same people, each offering a different 2 or 3 additional breeds, so I'd got 28 breeds altogether in 10 minutes of searching, from one supposedly good cavalier breeder who 'raises the dogs with her family'.

That's why research on any given breeder is crucial, no matter where you live. Most know how to make it look like you are getting a quality dog, especially using websites that imply they do testing they don;t do, and where you discover the dogs are registered with all sorts of fake registries. :x But in general no one shpould ever buy imported dogs from anyone BUT the breeder him or herself, and only after extensive research on the breeder. Very few overseas breeders will sell puppies to a US home sight unseen anyway.

In general if the breeder isn't showing dogs, doesn't belong to one of the main clubs, doesn't register with either AKC or CKCSC (in the US), can;t actually show you the cardiac clearances and other health paperwork, then they are a bit suspect. A good way to check out breeders is to google their kennel name. If the kennel affix doesn't show up on some actual show dog listings or in the online pedigree databases, then they are not likely a show breeder, and therefore probably not a breeder using any quality dogs in their lines, and I'd be suspicious. After a while you learn some tricks for doing quick checks but that only offers a bit of a head start! It is a shame there are so many wanting to dupe puppy buyers with poor quality puppies. :(