Alliance Animal Welfare spokesperson Patrick Brown MLA has submitted an objection to a proposed dog breeding and kennel facility in Co Fermanagh.
The planning application, which was submitted to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, is for a facility in Fivemiletown which would be large enough to hold 600 dogs, but at any one time could hold over 2,500 dogs when puppies are taken into account.
The South Down MLA has now written to the Council outlining objections, in a letter signed by his fellow Alliance MLAs.
“I am strongly objecting on behalf of myself and Alliance colleagues to this latest planning application for what is essentially a large scale puppy farm,” he said.
“While there are numerous major planning issues which I have raised, this is first and foremost an animal welfare issue. This is puppy farming at an industrial scale and another example of profit-making coming before animal welfare. This application should be brought before the Council planning committee for scrutiny and I hope councillors there will do the right thing and reject it.
“My colleague Councillor Stephen Donnelly will be working locally to ensure this happens. Our party will also be looking at how we can ensure greater scrutiny of animal welfare standards through the planning system.
“This is just one issue in what is a much larger problem. We need legislation around minimum staffing ratios of licensed facilities to ensure provision of appropriate levels of exercise, play and socialisation. There also needs to be better inspection of breeding facilities, including better record keeping, and we need Councils well resourced and willing to step in and issue fines and more if required.”