TWO so-called ‘puppy farms’ in the Forest of Dean have been told to cease trading after councillors refused to renew their licences.
Protesters gathered outside the district council’s Coleford offices to vent their anger at the farms before the crunch meeting yesterday.
Protester Claire Harton-Bussey, who spoke before the meeting, said: “It is not acceptable to protect this commodity. The dogs need to be in a clean home and environment and they should be in social contact with people. This is all about profit, profit, profit for them.”
Hagloe House Farm in Blakeney, which is owned by Margaret Davies, wanted the permit to continue breeding pugs, chihuahuas, poodles and Boston terriers.
A recent inspection was carried out by vet Michael Daly, which showed shortcomings, the licensing meeting heard.
His report stated that water bowls were knocked over and the current wooden kennels were largely unchanged since the previous inspection, although new building plans had been drawn up.
David Grimsell, who was representing the Care and Respect Includes All Dogs campaign, spoke at the meeting.
He said: “Here’s an idea. Go out and buy a dog, a female. Bring her back home and put her in a barren pen about 4ft by 6ft. Then pretty much ignore her. Very occasionally let her out for 15 minutes in a concrete yard. Put a stud dog in with her and breed from her repetitively for six or seven years. When she’s no longer so productive, get rid of her. Now multiply this up about 90 times. Have rows of pens in a couple of barns. This is looking remarkably like Hagloe House Farm.”
Mrs Davies has held a dog breeding licence with Forest of Dean District Council since 2007. Her most recent expired on February 11, meaning she has been unable to advertise or sell dogs.
Campaigners said they would help rehome dogs at the site but an appeal process is likely first.
Councillor and chairman of the licensing committee, Bernie O’Neill, said: “The plans for a new building are very, very good but that was in March last year. Our main concern is about the building.”
A second application was submitted by Richard and Helen Pike, who wanted to renew their breeding licence - also for a site in Blakeney.
The council rejected that appliaction too, amid fears that the dogs’ quarters were not up to required standards.
A spokesman for the district council said: “When determining an application for a dog breeding licence a local authority has to consider the requirements of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.”
Both applicants intend to make appeals against the decisions to the Magistrates Courts.