The Galway Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) has welcomed the introduction of new regulations to control the establishment and operation of dog breeding establishments.
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan last week signed the commencement order for the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, suggesting that the legislation would deal with dog breeding establishments “who seem to have no respect for the animals that they use for breeding purposes”.
The act will come into force on Sunday 1 January 2012 and dog-breeding establishments will then have to apply to their local authority to be included on a register of dog breeding establishments. Galway City Council and Galway County Council will be responsible for the implementation of the legislation locally.
Welcoming the commencement of the act, GSPCA spokesperson Margaret O’Sullivan warned that the new laws must be enforced as so-called ‘puppy farms’, large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities usually located in sub-standard conditions, are becoming a widespread problem across the country.
She added that Ireland is known as the ‘Puppy Farm Capital of Europe’ and said that it is hoped that new legislation will force the end of such operations. “It has to be cut out because the dogs are in horrific condition. They are selling puppies that are sick, inbred and people are paying top money for them and they are dying,” she said.
Stressing that genuine dog breeders look after dogs in their care, she said that puppy farmers do “not care about the conditions or the welfare” of their animals and need to be put out of business.
Meanwhile, the GSPCA has received a €24,000 grant allocation from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Other local organisations involved in animal care and welfare services that receive funding include East Galway Animal Rescue, which will receive €4,000, Whiskers New Park Animal Rescue (€4,000), MADRA (€3,000) and Claddagh Swan Rescue (€2,000). An Cat Dubh, Friends for Wildlife, Galway Cat Rescue, Renvyle Cat and Dog Rescue and Clifden Animal Rescue will also each receive €1,000.
Coming just weeks after the GSPCA’s sanctuary was ransacked and dogs were stolen from the facility, Ms O’Sullivan said the charity is delighted to receive its grant allocation, which is down €1,000 on last year.
Commenting on the break-in on Saturday 10 December, Ms O’Sullivan said that several of the older dogs in the sanctuary have been “totally traumatised” by the event, but praised the response from the public.
“The response is unbelievable…We have had people from all over the world contacting us, donating to us, trying to help out. If they can’t give money they give clothes, the like of blankets and things like that, to help out,” she said.
Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 090-9742060 or any garda station.