On 21st December 2011 Phil Hogan, the Minister for the Environment signed the Dog Breeding Establishments Act into law. This important piece of legislation brings in long overdue regulations governing so-called puppy farms (it applies only to breeders with 6 or more breeding age bitches). The veterinary profession welcome this new legislation and hope it will reduce welfare abuses associated with large scale dog breeding.
As a dog owner you can play an important part in promoting welfare standards in the dog breeding industry. If you are buying a dog:
- Always ensure that the vendor allows you to meet the pup’s mother, with the litter, in their normal surroundings.
- Never agree to meet a breeder on the road , even if it sounds like a good idea at the time.
- Never buy a puppy out of pity if you see it in very poor conditions – it only rewards low standards by the breeder. Consider reporting the breeder to a local SPCA instead.
- Remember that a puppy that has been brought up living in a house with a family is likely to make a far better pet in terms of socialisation and temperament than a pup that was reared on a puppy farm.