Justice for Breeding Dogs | 38 degrees
The image shown depicts a kennel/exercise area in a breeding facility that housed at least 90 dogs. This clearly shows the dark conditions they find themselves in with no view of anything but the high sides and the barn wall opposite. There is a very small fenced area outside the kennel but it is barely enough for two or three dogs to exercise in, certainly not 90. It is concerning that these kennels have been rated as excellent.
All the recommendations passed to the Welsh Government in 2019 by the WAHWFG made little difference. The recent ‘Guide to Dog Breeding Establishments for Local Authorities’ makes no direct changes to the ‘Dog Breeding for Animal Welfare (Wales) Regulations 2014’. It only provides clarification to local authorities when evaluating applications. The pilot program will provide better record keeping and improved inspections etc., but the real life of a dog in a commercial breeding kennel will often mean a very miserable and sad existence.
We have evidence of other premises, licensed and unlicensed, in appalling conditions. These places are not difficult to locate, but when information about them has been passed on to the appropriate official bodies, it is repeatedly ignored. As a result, confidence in the Welsh government is badly shaken. They recognize the fact that dog breeding is an industry and compare it to dairy, meat and eggs. This does not bode well for dogs. They are pets and the exploitation and abuse they have suffered for decades must be radically changed.
The following changes need to be made to the ‘Animal Welfare Regulations 2014’ if dogs on Welsh puppy farms are really to be protected.
1 A cap on the number of dogs in a breeding establishment, for example 40.
There are too many puppies being bred at the moment and the government’s enthusiasm to “meet the demand” is irresponsible.
2 The maximum number of litters for a female dog should be 4, not 6.
She’ll be easier to rehabilitate keeping in mind that she probably won’t have had any real-world experience. She will also be in better physical and mental health.
3 Exercise facilities must have access to large grassy areas.
If this is not provided, dogs will not have the ability to follow normal behavioral patterns. They can’t behave naturally on concrete all the time. There is no point in just placing a toy in an exercise run. The ones we saw are often surrounded by feces.
4 Staff to dog ratio should be 1 adult member to 10 dogs, not 20.
Bearing in mind that this is all for monetary gain, there could well be 10 litters or more, which means very little time for “socialization and improvement” programs. In reality dogs will have very little human contact, virtually no stimulation and an existence similar to intensive farming in agriculture. It’s a pointless exercise that continually stresses the importance of socialization and improvement with the ratio of 1 staff to 20 dogs, including puppies.
5 Revocation of License.
When a license is revoked for welfare reasons, all dogs must be taken to a safe place.
It may be worth considering that if a female pup is retained in kennels to become a brood female dog and one of her female puppies is retained for the same purpose, and so on, will subsequent generations lose slowly the attributes we associate with dogs, for example scent powers, loyalty and interactive social play. These females (as well as the breeders) will have only seen the puppy farm lifestyle and many traits in animals are subject to change by factors in their environment which, in the case of large-scale breeding scale, are not conducive to dogs and their natural behavioral patterns. Although they are unable to consent or deny our intrusions into their lives, it would be helpful to ask what they might say if they could. Our ethical relationship with them must be respectful and non-exploitative.
Please sign and be a voice for these dogs.
Libby Davies and Jean Steel
Why is this important?
It is widely believed that dogs have given humans so much pleasure. They have been our faithful companions for tens of thousands of years and for many people a world without dogs is unthinkable.
Jean Steel Libby Davies