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Bill paves way for government to enact puppy farm law

Puppy farms will be targeted in new legislation due to be enacted very soon – but there has been a delay while the government waited for the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill to be passed through the Seanad.

File photo
File photo
Image: Vadim Ghirda/AP/Press Association Images

THE GOVERNMENT IS being called on to ensure it quickly commences a new law that would control the breeding of dogs in Ireland and would affect so-called ‘puppy farms’.

The Dog Breeding Establishments Act has already been signed into law but the government is waiting until the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 is signed into law before the Act is commenced.

The government wants to implement the Dog Breeding Establishments Act and the Welfare of Greyhounds legislation simultaneously.

Fianna Fail Senator Averil Power commented today:

All over the country, puppies are being bred in filthy conditions, with no exercise or socialisation. Unscrupulous puppy farmers are making money from animals which are destined to have ongoing physical and emotional problems.
The ISPCA and other animal welfare organisations are severely hampered in their efforts to prevent such cruelty because the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has failed to sign the necessary commencement orders to give effect to the new legislation.

Senator Power said the law would bring about higher standards in dog breeding, outlawing the current cruel practices.

An animal welfare collation including ISPCA, Dogs Trust, Dublin SPCA and Irish Blue Cross welcomed the news that the newly elected President, Michael D Higgins, will sign the Greyhound Welfare Bill 2011 into law at his first official bill signing.

The coalition said it “will mark another significant day for animal welfare in this country”.

Senator Power said:

I am also urging the Government to take other steps to tackle animal cruelty in Ireland and to help reduce the number of unwanted dogs in the country.

The Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 was passed through the Seanad on 9 November.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, said the bill will put into place a modern, comprehensive framework to ensure nothing but the very best levels of welfare for greyhounds.

This legislation provides a sound legal basis for welfare inspections to be carried out at all premises where greyhounds are kept.

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