Ireland holds the shameful title of “puppy farm capital of Europe”. At least 2,216 female dogs are confined in puppy farms around the country and are used to breed thousands of puppies every year.
The horrendous conditions endured by dogs was revealed this week after a registered puppy farm in Carlow was raided. Over 200 dogs were rescued, including one who did not have her back feet and another who had tendon damage. Both were among the dogs being used for breeding. As well as removing live dogs from the puppy farm, shocked rescuers also took away skeletons and bones.
Those who wish to set up a puppy farm must apply to their local authority. There is apparently an incentive for the authority to approve these facilities – in the form of an annual payment to the authority.
According to Section 14 of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, local authorities which approve a facility receive between €400 (if the puppy farm contains 18 breeding bitches) and €3,000+ (if 200 or more bitches are involved).
Among those exempt from paying the charge are hunts and greyhound breeders. The Act states “This section shall not apply to the operator of a dog breeding establishment if…the operator of the establishment is a hunt club…the dog breeding establishment is used solely for the purposes of the management and training of greyhounds for reward …”