Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan said that Ireland’s label as “the puppy farm capital of Europe” is “not something we should be proud of”.
The senator made the remark during a Seanad debate on Thursday, November 11th, 2021.
“This can be fixed, but we need proper transparency and inspections of these sites,” she told the Seanad.
Boylan shed light on puppy farming in Ireland in the Seanad following a meeting on the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.
Meeting attendees heard from the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, DSPCA, on what needs to happen to strengthen the laws in Ireland, particularly in the area of dog welfare.
“The DSPCA pointed out that puppy farms are the biggest animal welfare problem it faces,” she told the Seanad.
“This entire industry is based on the concept of cruelty to animals and deception of the consumer.”
“Pups, as young as six weeks old, are being transported across the border and smuggled into Britain.”
The DSPCA has called on the DAFM to introduce dog breeding laws under its remit.
The senator said it has also called for a single public database showing:
- How many breeding bitches are on a site;
- Who owns the site;
- How many times it has been inspected.
“It has also called for the DSPCA and other authorised officers under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 to be designated as the inspectors of those dog breeding establishments because the local authorities are not doing an effective job.”
“It is quite possible for a responsible breeder to make a living. However, in Ireland, there are as many as 600 breeding bitches on one establishment.”
That is not including the pups and the stud dogs, she added.
“These animals have no socialisation skills and no genetic screening,” she claimed.
“They are being fed mechanically and, as such, they have very little human interaction. They are then being sold into families who are left wondering why the pups have behavioural problems, or they are very sick,” she added.
The senator outlined what action needs to be undertaken to address the issue.
“We need Revenue to scrutinise these establishments which are breeding up to 600 bitches, possibly, twice a year, with ten pups being sold for approximately €1,500 each.”
“When one does the maths, Revenue is losing out. We do not have the proper transparency and no monitoring of this area by the DAFM,” she concluded.