They were to provide recommendations on how to regulate this hidden industry and halt this miserable trade.
The working group met for six months, took 27 public submissions, and produced a report last month containing clear proposals that could be enacted immediately, in time to prevent thousands of sickly pups from going on the international Christmas market.
The current Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, has delayed implementation of the report and has asked for further public consultation.
The National Stray Dog and Cat Forum met recently in Dublin. It represents the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), Irish Kennel Club (IKC), Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, Veterinary Ireland Companion Animal Society (VICAS), 25 other local animal welfare and rescue organisations, and representatives of nine county councils.
The forum agreed unanimously to the following statement: "We, the undersigned, agree in principle with the recommendations of the report of working group to review the management of dog breeding establishments. We urge the minister for the environment to proceed with implementation of its recommendations."
The Government needs to act immediately on the recommendations before further raids once again highlight our shameful position as Europe's 'puppy farm capital.'
Peter A Wedderburn
Brayvet Animal Hospital
Old Conna Ave