Welcome to my blog

For years I have campaigned against puppy farming, dealers and pet shops, in fact any outlet that is involved in the breeding and selling of puppies by third parties. Why you may ask? Because it is a clandestine trade that lacks public awareness and Governments fail miserably to accept that puppy farming resulting in puppy trafficking is detrimental to animal welfare. Through my thoughts on my blog I will highlight some of the daily happenings from my perspective as a campaigner against the puppy trade.

Disclaimer: My name is Patricia from Puppy Alert, the opinions and views expressed on this blog are entirely my own.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Cefn Cloch (Ace Kennels) asks for permission to continue breeding dogs.

Hefin Davies the owner of a large, licensed, commercial dog breeding kennel in Meidrim, Carmathanshire, Wales, is asking Carmarthenshire County Council Planning Department to allow him to continue with his dog breeding activities.  He has submitted a retrospective planning application and requested to be granted a 'certificate of lawfulness' for an existing use of outbuildings and yards as dog breeding kennels.  The dogs are kept  in a steel and timber framed kennel building and yard and the dog breeding business is enclosed by a ring fence of buildings with dogs having a free run in the centre.

In March 2010 the premises were granted planning permission to convert a barn at the farm into an office and dog showroom.  Did a planning officer not consider it appropriate at the time of receipt of the application for the dog showroom and office or when inspecting of the premises consider checking the history of the premises to verify if planning permission was ever granted or requested for all the buildings used for dog breeding on the farm? 

Surely the owner of the premises, himself once a dairy farmer, now switched to dog breeding (they call it diversification) must we aware that since the premises were licensed in 1998 for just 8 dogs that if the numbers of dogs are increased, at some stage over the years, (when a dog breeding sideline becomes a commercial business) that planning permission is required. Did he make enquires with the planning department?  Was change of use from agriculture to dog breeding not a consideration, if buildings now used for dog breeding were previously used to house dairy cattle on this once active dairy farm?

What role has Carmarthenshire Public Protection Department played in this fiasco?  They are responsible for licensing the premises and in 1998 they licensed the premises for just 8 dogs!  What has happened since 1998?  Did the owners notify the Council that they wished to change the conditions of their licence due to  increasing the numbers of dogs on the premises every year to today's figure of 142 dogs?  Did the licensing officer whilst carrying out their yearly inspections questioned the large number of dogs on the premises over and above 8 dogs listed in 1998?  Many questions that remain unanswered but here is record of the licence figures.

2003 -  78 breeding bitches   1 dog    9 stud dogs
2004 -  58 breeding bitches   4 dogs 11 stud dogs
2005 -  98 breeding bitches   5 dogs   9 stud dogs
2006 -  88 breeding bitches   6 dogs 12 stud dogs
2007 -  81 breeding bitches 10 dogs 16 stud dogs
2008 -  89 breeding bitches 14 dogs   3 stud dogs
2009 -  95 breeding bitches   9 dogs 16 stud dogs
2010 -113 breeding bitches   4 dogs   4 stud dogs
2011 -  95 breeding bitches 33 dogs 14 stud dogs   - Are these figures correct?  Why have 33 dogs appeared, they are not listed as stud dogs but just dogs, are they perhaps breeding bitches placed in the wrong column?

The questions that need answering are:

Why has planning permission not requested by the owners or asked to be applied for by the Council until now?

Where are the exercise runs for the dogs?  These should be attached to but separate from their sleeping quarters, it is not acceptable for Councils to licence premises on the assumption that dog breeders will allow free exercise to their dogs as appears to be the case here.  It is well known that many do not and dogs live their life in confinement.

Why doesn't Carmarthenshire County Council place a ceiling on the numbers of dogs they allow a dog breeder to own and breed from on each breeding establishment?

Does Carmarthenshire Council ascertain before and at each yearly inspection whether adequate staff are employed and suitably qualified in animal welfare?

Why does Carmarthenshire Council allow these large commercial dog breeding establishments to operate without ensuring that all dogs used for breeding are screened under the BVA, KC screening tests for hereditary conditions known in each pedigree breed? 

Not all of these questions are asked on the Council inspection reports but Councils can place extra conditions on a Dog Breeders Licence, providing it is expedient to the purpose of the Act.  Therefore they should encourage good practice and introduce extra conditions that are beneficial to animal welfare on each of the premises they licence.