Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust delivers over 28,000 signatures to Dáil Éireann asking to end the cruelty behind bad breeding

In November last year, we launched a poignant campaign entitled “How is that Doggie in the Window?” which highlighted the upsetting reality behind irresponsible dog breeding in Ireland and helped educate the public on how they could effect change. As part of this campaign, the public could take action by signing a petition which asked the Irish government to change the laws, to stop the cruelty that goes on behind closed doors on puppy farms in Ireland.

Today, we sent this petition containing over 28,000 signatures, and counting, to Minister of State Sean Canney, with responsibility for Natural Resources, Community Affairs and Digital Development, calling for him to review and strengthen the Dog Breeding Establishment (DBE) Act 2010 as a matter of urgency. Executive Director of Dogs Trust, Suzie Carley, handed over the signatures to Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh and Independent TD, Maureen O’Sullivan today at Merrion Square in Dublin.

The amended Act should introduce a number of robust measures* to clamp down on unscrupulous breeders that put profits before the welfare of the dogs in their care, including tougher enforcement and prosecution where breeders fail to comply.

Speaking about the petition, Maureen O’Sullivan TD said:

“As a dog lover myself, I find it incredibly distressing to think of how hundreds of these poor creatures suffer every day at the hands of irresponsible breeders. The Dog Breeding Establishments Act, which centred on regulating the dog breeding industry, was passed in 2010 and was a step in the right direction but it is now time the Act was reviewed to clamp down on irresponsible breeding. Without tougher enforcement of the Act and adequate inspections, unscrupulous puppy farmers continue to profit heavily at a cost to the dogs in their care.”

Speaking about the petition, Senator Catherine Ardagh said:

“Puppy breeding and smuggling continues to be big business in our country, we’re regarded as the one of the worst counties in Europe for illegal breeding. The issues extend beyond the remit or responsibility of the Department of Rural and Community Development and in fact should also be better regulated, working alongside, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department of Justice and equality.

Senator Ardagh concluded: “In order to stamp out such appalling practices to help reduce the number of unwanted dogs that are later disposed of we need to see a cross-departmental response.”

Thousands of dogs and puppies on puppy farms across Ireland are crammed into crowded, filthy pens, with little or no bedding or natural sunlight. They suffer from the torments of cruel confinement, boredom and fear.

Mums are often locked away in horrendous conditions and kept as breeding machines, producing litter after litter for years on end and callously discarded when they get too old or are no longer of use. They never get to enjoy any sort of life as a beloved pet. Puppies are often taken away from their mums and siblings too soon, missing out on a crucial phase of their development, which can lead to behavioural issues for years to come.

Speaking at the delivery of the petition, Executive Director, Dogs Trust, Suzie Carley said: “Public pressure and changes in our nation’s attitudes toward animal cruelty has been recognised by our Government. The publication of the Dog Breeding Establishment (DBE) Guidelines, which came into effect on the 1st January 2019, saw significant improvements made regarding the regulation of dogs and puppies being kept in breeding establishments. However more needs to be done in order to clamp down on the cruelty and suffering of innocent dogs at the hands of irresponsible breeders.”

Suzie continues: “To protect the welfare of mums, pups, stud dogs, as well as consumers, who all fall victim to unscrupulous breeders, we must have a robust legislative framework, adequate resources provided to the Local Authorities for inspection and tougher enforcement and penalties for those who do not comply. It is imperative that the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 is reviewed and strengthened as a matter of urgency to clamp down on the vile puppy farming trade in Ireland.”

Find us on Facebook or follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #DoggieInTheWindow