Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust Ireland Welcomes Oireachtas Agriculture Committee Report on Canine Welfare

We welcome the ‘Report on Canine Welfare’, released today by the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The report recommends a wide range of improvements in legislation governing the sale, supply and advertising of dogs, ear cropping, microchipping of dogs and dog breeding establishments.

Standardising the information recorded on dog microchip databases, a centralised portal to quickly access information on all four microchipping databases and a ban on the ownership of dogs with cropped ears, are just some of the suggested proposals within the report.

Commenting on the report, Suzie Carley, Executive Director at Dogs Trust Ireland says: We would like to thank the committee, especially Senator Lynn Boylan who has worked tirelessly to bring us to where we are today, for their dedicated work in compiling this report as well as inviting Dogs Trust Ireland to appear before the Committee in June 2021 and April 2022 to give evidence.  At present, puppies are still being bought, sold and advertised without a microchip, allowing irresponsible breeders to sell dogs without any traceability. Dogs are having their ears painfully mutilated, purely for cosmetic purposes and selling platforms are full of illegal and misleading advertisements. These abhorrent practices have no place in our society and we would like to see them rapidly stamped out.”

A further recommendation by the Committee is that every Local Authority makes their register of Dog Breeding Establishments available online and accessible to the public. The report also proposes the introduction of a two-step verification process to authenticate the person advertising dogs and puppies for sale online.

Sarah Lynch, Policy, Compliance and Research Manager at Dogs Trust Ireland continues: Members of the public are horrified to think that they could be buying a puppy from a puppy farm. To prevent this from happening, they are advised by the relevant authorities and Government to “do their homework”. However, this is simply not possible as inadequate traceability systems are currently in use. Without this information, members of the public are unable to make an informed decision and the illicit practice of puppy farming continues to prosper.”

The report asks that the current staff to dog ratio, of one staff member per 25 breeding female dogs on Dog Breeding Establishments is revised, as ‘the current ratio is impractical when the reality of the number of dogs that the staff member is caring for is significantly higher when you include the number of puppies birthed.’

Ciara Murran, Head of Communications at Dogs Trust Ireland, concludes: “Appallingly, it is legal in Ireland to keep hundreds of breeding dogs in registered Dog Breeding Establishments with very little staff to care for them. The current guidelines recommend only one staff member is required per 25 breeding female dogs, not to mention their puppies. It is just not possible for one person to give all of these dogs everything they need such as socialisation, habituation and most of all the love and attention they need and crave.”

We currently have 236 dogs available for adoption, please see HERE for more information.