[Warning: This post contains disturbing images, but frankly I don’t care, you only have to look at them once, these dogs have to live it everyday.]
If you missed Animal A&E Investigates: The Truth about Ireland’s Puppy farms last night you can watch it again online on the TV3 Player here. This was a special episode exposing the shocking truth about battery farmed dogs in Ireland, where some appalling cruelty cases were highlighted by the ISPCA and the Animal A&E Team.
Or did you watch it and think “I wish there was something I could do!” Well there is. Please, please, please email Minister Phil Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and ask him to to sign the Commencement Order for the Dog Breeding Establishment Act.
Dog Breeding Establishment Act
As things stand unscrupulous breeders are taking advantage of Ireland’s lack of animal welfare standards that are in place in other countries. This had lead to reports of over-breeding of animals that are kept in poor conditions.
The new legislation is designed to tackle large scale commercial breeders who are operating puppy farms or battery farms but it has not yet been signed into law. It won’t solve all the problems within the industry, but is seen as an important first step by animal welfare organisations to bring the industry in line with best practise established in other countries. The legislation would help ensure that dog breeding establishments must be registered and licensed.
Under the legislation breeders would be liable for inspection and will have to meet minimum welfare standards, including the size of the kennel where the dogs are kept with adequate ventilation for example.
Many of the dogs and puppies on these puppy farms have significant medical and social problems. As a result of intensive breeding, animal welfare organisations often see puppies suffering because of inbreeding and other hereditary problems.
Other medical conditions include parasite infestations such as fleas, worms and ear mites which can lead to anaemia. Puppies can also suffer from skin infections such as mange, and can have rickets and calcium deficiencies. The mothers are often found to have mammary gland tumours.
The problems are not exclusively physical. Puppies from puppy farms can also have psychological problems. It’s vital for puppies to be socialised in early life with other dogs and humans, but cage bred puppies often miss out on this vital step in development.
*DO SOMETHING* (FFS)
If you are as disgusted as I am with how these animals are treated then do something. Write to your local TD. An email takes five minutes to write but the more pressure we put on our representatives in government the better chance we have. After all, they are supposed to represent US, the electorate.
I have written to Phil Hogan, Alan Shatter, Shane Ross, Alex White, Peter Mathews and Olivia Mitchell. So far I have recieved a reply from Olivia Mitchell TD. (I will update here if I get replies from any of the other TDS).
I have written to Ms. Mitchell before regarding the legislation and she has always replied. She has said she will ask Minister Phil Hogan to finally sign the Commencement order for the Dog Breeding Establishment Bill. I hope she is true to her word.
[Edited to add 26/10/2011]
Response from Phil Hogan, Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government
Minister Hogan posted the following on his Facebook page “The Dog Breeding Establishment Act cannot be commenced until the completion of the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill is completed by the Oireachtas. This Bill is presently going through Seanad Eireann. I am surprised that people in various organisations are not aware of this matter.”
This in my opinion is BS and is nothing more than smoke and mirror tactics to hold off on signing the order.
[Edited to add 27/10/2011]
Today I got an email reply from Peter Mathews TD, and while Mr. Mathews admits to being appalled by the TV3 program and assures me of his continued support for animal welfare, he also copied and pasted the party line into the middle of his email. He repeated that “It’s intended to commence the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 at the same time as the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill, which is currently passing through the Oireachtas.”