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New rules around kennel sizes among dog breeding guidelines set to come into effect from 2019

The guidelines are an updated version of similar rules which came into effect in 2012.

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RULES OUTLINING THE minimum size of kennel that a dog can be kept in are among new guidelines that will come into effect for Irish dog breeding establishments next year.

The guidelines, published by the Department of Rural and Community Development following a public consultation earlier this year, will become effective from 1 January.

The consultation proposed changes to the standards and sizes of kennels, guidance for exercise areas, hygiene protocols, socialisation, staffing requirements, and staff training at Ireland’s dog breeding establishments.

From next year, anyone that keeps six or more bitches that are over six months old and capable of being used for breeding purposes must legally register their premises as a dog breeding establishment with their local authority.

The guidelines also outline the number of puppies and litters that can be born to bitches kept at Irish breeding establishments, while there are also rules surrounding veterinary care, exercise periods, and the transportation of dogs.

Reminding dog breeding establishments about the introduction of the new rules, Minister of State Seán Canney said the guidelines were a “substantial shift” from those published in 2012 and placed more focus on the welfare of dogs and puppies.

“Better socialised pups, housed in appropriate accommodation, make for better pets,” he said.

“Where there is a focus on socialisation in the key first few weeks of life, there is a smoother transition to life in a family home.”

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The Minister argued that the guidelines would support the improvement of standards and provide a framework to allow local authorities to inspect dog breeding establishments.

“Local authorities can make unannounced inspections of these establishments, which will help to drive up standards,” he said, adding that submissions from both the public and industry experts had contributed to the creation of the new guidelines.

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