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To: To the Welsh Government

Justice for Breeding Dogs

Puppies are not products and must never be products.

The following Amendments must be made to 'The Animal Welfare Regs 2014' if dogs in Welsh puppy farms are really going to be protected.

1 A cap on number of dogs in a breeding establishment e.g.40, preferably less.
There are too many puppies being bred at the present time and the Government's enthusiasm for 'meeting the demand' is irresponsible.

2 Maximum number of litters for a bitch to be 4 not 6.
She will be easier to rehabilitate bearing in mind she will probably have had no experiences in the real world. She will also be in better physical and mental health.

3 Exercise facilities must have access to large grassed area/s.
If this is not provided then the dogs will not have the opportunity to follow normal behavioural patterns. They cannot behave naturally on concrete all the time. It is useless just placing a toy in an exercise run. The ones we have seen are often surrounded by faeces. Even an experienced dog handler would have problems in a confined concrete run giving any sort of socialization/enhancement procedures. The emphasis on this particular 'condition' can't work without space and grass.

4 Ratio of staff to dogs must be one adult member to 10 dogs not 20. Imagine 4 staff to 80 dogs including puppies. One of the staff might be off sick or on holiday.
Bearing in mind the whole thing is for monetary gain, there could well be 10 litters or more which means very little time for the 'Socialisation and Enhancement' programmes. In reality the dogs will have very little human contact, hardly any stimulation and an existence similar to intensive farming in agriculture. It is a pointless exercise continually emphasising the importance of socialisation and enhancement with the ratio of 1 staff to 20 dogs which includes puppies.

5 Revoking of Licence.
Where a licence is revoked because of welfare issues all dogs should be removed to a safe place.

6 There must be natural light in exercise area.
The Guidance states that where it is not practicable for natural light, an artificial lighting system that can be switched off at night to allow proper sleep patterns can be used.

Why is this important?

The image shown depicts a kennel/exercise area in a breeding establishment that housed at least 90 dogs. It clearly shows the bleak conditions they are in with no view of anything except the high sides and barn wall opposite. There is a very small fenced area outside the kennel block but it is barely enough for two or three dogs to exercise, certainly not 90. It is worrying that these these kennels were classed as excellent.

All the Recommendations passed to the Welsh Government in 2019 by the WAHWFG have made little real difference. The recent 'Dog Breeding Establishments Guidance for Local Authorities' updated 1/07/2022 makes no direct changes to the 'Animal Welfare Breeding of Dogs (Wales) Regulations 2014'. It only provides clarity to the Local Authorities when assessing applications. The Pilot Scheme will ensure better record keeping and improved inspections etc. but the actual life of a dog in a commercial breeding kennel will often mean a very miserable, sad existence.
We would all rather see no breeding kennels operated in a commercial way. Most people love puppies and wish to purchase one, but it would be ideal if only those that loved their dogs chose to breed on a small scale. However it has to be said that if dog breeding establishments have the high standards that we demand, many of the dogs living there would have as good, if not better life, than one left all day in the kitchen while it's owner/s are at work, no walks, or subjected to unruly children that have no respect for a dogs' feelings.

It might be worth considering the fact that if a female puppy is retained in the kennels to become a brood bitch and one of her female puppies is retained for the same purpose, and so on, will the following generations slowly loose the attributes we associate with dogs e.g. scenting powers, loyalty and interactive social play. These females (as well as the stud dogs) will have only seen the puppy farm way of life and many traits in animals are subject to modification by factors in their environment which in the case of a large scale breeding kennels is not conducive to dogs and their natural behavioural patterns.
We have evidence of other premises, licensed and unlicensed, with appalling conditions. These places are not hard to locate, but when information regarding them has been passed to the appropriate official bodies, it is repeatedly ignored. Consequently confidence in the Welsh Government is very much undermined. They acknowledge the fact that dog breeding is an industry and compare it with dairy, meat and eggs. This doesn't auger well for dogs. They are companion animals and the exploitation and abuse they have been subjected to over decades has to be drastically changed.

Dogs have been our faithful companions for tens of thousands of years and need out support.
Please sign and be a voice for them.

Jean Steel Libby Davies
Wales, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2022-06-16 09:39:03 +0100

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