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.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Councillor suggests more farmers should plough their money into dog breeding

My goodness what is the matter with Welsh Councillors, why do some feel that farmers should diversify into dog breeding to put money back into their farm?  This was one Councillors (County Councillor Linda Davies Evans) thoughts when asked by the media to comment on the retrospective planning application for Beili Bedw.
Every one is entitled to have their opinion, I do not dispute that but why would someone wish to encourage battery dog farming? http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Defiant-campaigners-vow-continue-puppy-farm/story-13280410-detail/story.html

Beili Bedw is the largest licensed dog breeding establishment in Wales, there are more not too far behind in numbers of dogs on the premises.  Surely to suggest that others and the vast majority are, like the owners of Beili Bedw, farmers, is Councillor Davies Evans seriously suggesting that others follow in the footsteps of Beili Bedw?  Is it right that so many dogs and so few staff should be contained in a couple of farm sheds day and night without human contact. Who will attend to a whelping bitch if in need, who will attend to the puppies when weaning and need four meals a day and grooming, is there time for grooming, exercise and daylight, do the dogs ever see daylight and have a free run?  Who will have time to take an unwell dog to the vet, does it even happen? What do you think with 196 dogs and few staff?

It is very easy to put two dogs together and allow them to mate to produce a litter of puppies to sell to dealers this is what these battery dog farms do. They do not select a male and female dog carefully ensure that they are screened for known health issues  in the pedigree breed, by using the Kennel Club and BVA health screening schemes - that costs money and takes profit away from the business.  These dog farms are businesses, what else can they be called?  I always used the word puppy farms but that conjures up a pretty picture of puppies, frolicking like lambs in springtime on green grass, when of course the reality is quite different many puppies will never see daylight, just bare walls usually grey concrete with a heating lamp and often no bed just something basic on the concrete floor. As for the puppies mother she will be provided the same, a cow mat or bread pallet, if lucky a plastic bed but invariably no bedding, some pregnant bitches have nothing but a concrete floor to give birth on, mostly alone and often in darkness.  Do not think comfort, warmth and careful rearing for the puppies or extra nutrition for the dam, more often that not veterinary care is not given, in fact very rare if anything extra given to the dogs other than the bare necessities to keep them alive and produce puppies every season. The breeders will say they breed every other season which is once in 12 months how without irrefutable identification of the dogs and accurate record keeping can this be proven, it cannot, because they do not keep accurate records. The inspecting officers know this but they do nothing even though it is a breach of their licence conditions. I could and will write much more later ...           

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.