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.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Beili Bedw Planning Decision

Going away I missed the site inspection on 30th August and the decision made by the Councillors on the planning committee of Carmarthenshire County Council for the retrospective planning application for the change of use of an agriculture shed as dog breeding kennels at Beili Bedw, Llanllwni, Pencader, Carmarthenshire, SA39 9DP.
There was no surprise to hear that all but two of the Councillors followed the Head of Planning recommendation for approval.   Here is a link to the minutes of the planning meeting

Having read the minutes it is very easy to spot where the fault lies and why a situation such as this has developed. Firstly, there has been no attempt since 1994 (planning permission for 9 dogs) by the owner of the farm to to apply for planning permission for dog breeding even though he had increased the numbers of dogs on the premises to 196 (number licensed for).  Neither has there been any question asked by licensing, they have just allowed the numbers of dogs to increase and at times more than the figure given on the licence.

The application last year to increase the size of this agriculture shed which did not require planning permission due to the application stating for agriculture use for sheep and agriculture implements but this shed was very quickly adapted and fitted out with panels and automatic feeding and drinking vessels for dog breeding.  One surely has to question whether this was the intention all along.  Fortunately, it was noted and planning enforcement were advised but they lacked the will to enforce legislation and chose to request the owner to submit a planning application, not content with one application another planning application for the original barn was sneaked in too for change of use.

It is stated in the minutes that the applicant accepted that the failure to obtain planning consent was an error on his part as he believed the licence to be sufficient. The words of a farmer, a business person, with a wife working for the local authority, it is difficult to take this explanation and excuse for none compliance seriously.

So what is the situation now, sadly very little different than before for the dogs.  However for highlighting the premises through the media and the operation of dog breeding on this massive scale at least enlightened the public of their involvement in batttery dog farming, breeding of dogs and producing puppies on a conveyor belt system to supply to dealers.  The irresponsibility of Councils in allowing premises to grow to this size  knowing that they have inadequate staff to maintain a high level of animal welfare. In the last inspection report animal welfare concerns were noted but that was a matter for licensing , of course that may have to wait until the next yearly inspection as it is unlikely that any attention has been given in the mean time, just another case filed away.

But more eyes have been opened and the people of Wales are beginning to be aware of this and other clandestine operations involving dog breeding in Wales, the supply of puppies to dealers and pet shops.  Not all believe that this type of diversification is justifiable.  Puppy Alert was responsible a number of years ago for halting the grant funded scheme through Farming Connect to provide farmers with grants for kennelling to go into dog breeding. Thankfully the scheme was halted after only two grants were given oddly enough to two farmers already involved in dog breeding, which should never have been considered as diversification.

With so many more eyes watching and listening, we will be aware and ready if it is thought justifiable to oppose a planning application or a renewal of a dog breeding licence.  Attention will be paid to the renewal of these premises licence.  Hopefully new legislation which is yet to reach the statute book may discourage some breeders when they have to employ staff,  these premises will need at least eight full time members of staff and more with whelping bitches and puppies.


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