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Protesters set for council demonstration over puppy farm plans

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

The Campaign to End Puppy Farming has said it will hold a peaceful protest at Forest of Dean District Council on Wednesday

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ANIMAL rights protesters will descend on Forest of Dean District Council to oppose a puppy farm’s bid to renew its breeding license.

The concerns held by Campaign to End Puppy Farming come after a vet’s report criticised the conditions in which dogs are kept at Hagloe House Farm, Blakeney.

The farm wants a new permit to rear breeds including pugs, Chihuahuas, poodles and schnauzers and a hearing will be held at the council offices in Coleford from 10am on Wednesday.

Campaign founder Linda Goodman said: “An inspection by a vet in February, 2013, revealed major shortcomings such that he would not have been prepared to support re-licensing unless major changes were met.

“The premises have been allowed to build numbers to around 90 breeding dogs over recent years with the council failing to set any limit on numbers as almost all other authorities do.”

Results of a the latest inspection of the site by vet Michael Daly were published in a licensing report, which accompanies the application and states that dogs are not kept in accommodation suitable in respect to the number of occupants, exercising facilities or ventilation or cleanliness.

He said the current kennels are not up to standard but plans for a new building have been drawn up.

Mr Daly said dogs are not supplied with suitable water or able to access clean water throughout the day.

“Several water bowls were knocked over, empty or contaminated with bedding,” he said. “This could become a problem in warm weather.”

The report however stated that kennels, bedding areas, corridors and common areas were kept clean, that regular disinfection takes place and that measures are taken to minimise the risk of rodents.

Applicant Margaret Davies has held dog breeding licences with the Forest of Dean District Council since 2007 but her most recent expired on February 11 and is currently unable to advertise or sell dogs until that has been renewed.

A report into the application states that puppies appeared to be in good physical condition with no evidence of infectious disease, were lively, responded to human contact and were not aggressive. It also added that “existing buildings are inadequate” but that the proposed new building will comply with animal welfare requirements.

The council recommends granting a licence for six months, at which point planning permission should have been sought and obtained for the proposed new building.

Councillor Bernie O’Neill, chairman of the licensing committee, said: “The new building should comply with current legal requirements and welfare standards and a whole load of other conditions.

“We can either accept the recommendations and grant the license with conditions or refuse it, but that is down to the committee to decide.”

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