Tuesday 12 December 2017

'Puppy farm' protests continue after dogs filmed in ‘whelping boxes’

Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

Protesters gathered outside the Cavan Town Courthouse yesterday in a demonstration against cruel puppy farms.

The protesters claimed that Cavan County Council is failing to crack down on animal cruelty at these farms and they have urged the Council to withdraw the licenses of potential perpetrators.

A BBC Spotlight programme in May showed dogs at the farm of Raymond Cullivan Jnr in Poles, County Cavan, being kept in small wooden crates, which is an illegal practice.

The ‘whelping boxes’ were removed after the ISPCA called for action against puppy farms following the programme, but activists claim little else has been done to address their concerns.

Mr Cullivan was issued a warning relating to his planning permissions by Cavan County Council in July, but the decision on the matter was delayed in September while the council look for more information.

In a statement to Independent.ie, Sue Kilbracken, an organiser of the protests, said: “Despite large scale puppy farms operating in violation of the council’s own planning permission mandates and national animal welfare laws for decades, Cavan County Council has not yet undertaken any enforcement.

"Cavan County Council has to date also refused to release their inspection reports on puppy farms to the ISPCA, the media and other concerned persons. In the documentary screened in May, pups had been filmed being illegally smuggled into the UK, violating both Irish and UK laws.”

Eamonn Mulvaney, better known as the musician Eamonn Jackson, has also applied for continued planning permission for his premises in Redhills.

“Eamonn Mulvaney was found by the ISPCA to have almost 500 dogs last May, despite being licensed for just 100.

"Instead of addressing Mulvaney’s infringement of the law, Cavan County Council opted to up his license to 180 and allow his brother a further 45 dogs, licenced to the same address,” Sue Kilbracken told Independent.ie.

The ISPCA stated earlier this year that they had offered to participate in Council inspections of puppy farms, but that their request was denied.

Michelle Strauss, another activist involved in the protests, said that the Council have denied parts of her Freedom of Information request for documents relating to Council inspections of the farms on the basis that releasing them would interfere with the ongoing proceedings.

The DSPCA have seized hundreds of unlicensed puppies on their way to the UK at Dublin Port this year; they say that Ireland is becoming the ‘puppy farm capital of Europe’, with huge numbers going to the UK every year from both legal and illegal farms.

When asked if the sources of smuggled puppies are being investigated, Gardaí said “As part of any investigation all avenues, complaints etc. will be investigated  to ensure the proper investigation of a crime.”

Independent.ie has contacted Cavan County Council for comment.

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