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Aontú’s Puppy Farm Bill Passes First Stage in the Dáil Today

NB Please see Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2021 attached

Aontú’s Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2021 or the Puppy Farm Bill has passed first stage in the Dáil today. Introducing and speaking on the Bill, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín stated:

“Today, I was proud to introduce Aontú’s Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2021 at First Stage to the Dáil. This Bill is the second Animal Welfare Bill that Aontú has introduced into the Dáil in the last 6 months. The Criminal Justice Bill 2020 was introduced by myself at the end of last year to create a minimum 10 month prison sentence for those caught stealing family pets. That Bill has passed First Stage of the Dáil and is awaiting an opportunity to be presented at Second Stage.”

“Animal Welfare and Protection is a subject given much lip service by politicians of all parties. It is an issue that is hugely important to our communities, who want to see action – not just more words. Aontú has sought to deliver that action by putting forward pragmatic and reasonable legislative proposals which I urge all parties to support through the Dáil. The purpose of this Aontú Bill is to enhance the welfare of dogs by strengthening the regulation of dog breeding establishments and ensuring enforcement of relevant statutory provisions.”

“According to Rescue Animals Ireland, Ireland is considered the Puppy Farm capital of Europe. Due to poor conditions in some Puppy Farms, animals suffer greatly. Dogs can develop serious illnesses and ailments which have long term health consequences. In 2018, there were 258 registered dog-breeding establishments. As of 2016, there were 73 registered puppy farms in Ireland. Figures at the time show, these farms were producing at least 30,000 puppies per year. Animal Welfare Organisations have warned that some Puppy Farms have upwards of 500 breeding bitches at a given time. This is without even looking at the multiple illegal puppy farms operations that operate across the country which the State are struggling to tackle. In February of this year, the ISPCA took 60 dogs into care found at an illegal puppy farm in the Midlands. In November 2020, 32 dogs were rescued from an illegal puppy farm operation in Baldoyle, Dublin which were estimated to have a potential value of €150,000. We have received many reports of significantly uneven enforcement of existing legislation from Local Authority to Local Authority. This needs to change. We seek that each Local Authority will commission a specific individual or team to ensure protections are enforced.”

“Our Bill introduces a minimum standard for animals. We strengthen the 5 Freedoms contained in the 2010 Act by which each dog breeder must adhere to in the raising of these animals. Under our Bill dogs must kept in such a manner as to avoid unnecessary suffering, dogs must receive treatment when necessary from a veterinary practitioner, dogs must be permitted to exhibit their natural and normal behaviour and that dogs are permitted to have the company of other dogs.”

“Our Bill amends the definition of “authorised person” in the Act of 2010 so as to ensure that persons who act as authorised persons under that Act are specifically appointed under it to fulfil this role.”

“Our Bill significantly increases the Penalty for breaking the law in terms of Puppy Farms. Profits for breeding dogs in the current climate have gone through the roof. The current fines are not a sufficient deterrent. The previous maximum fine of €5,000 becomes the minimum fine for Summary Conviction in our Bill and we introduce a €10,000 fine for convictions on indictment”.

Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2021

Explanatory Memorandum re Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2021

By Aontú Press | 5 May, 2021

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