LAST WEEK Paul Frew MLA for North Antrim visited Dogs Trust Ballymena and its VIPs (Very Important Pooches).
Whilst at the Co Antrim rehoming centre Mr Frew, who chairs the Assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, discussed The Welfare of Animals (Dog Breeding Establishments) Regulations with Dogs Trust Head of NI Campaigns Ronnie Milsop.
Ronnie Milsop said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Frew to Dogs Trust Ballymena – even more so as the Welfare of Animals (Dog Breeding Establishments) Regulations are currently being considered by the Northern Ireland Assembly. Dogs Trust would like to see the emphasis of this legislation placed not on the breeders, but on achieving the best welfare conditions possible for the dogs in these establishments.
“We agree with a number of the proposals, including the introduction of a £150 breeding license fee, and the neutering of stud dogs or bitches after their use in business. However, Dogs Trust strongly believes that there should be no exemptions to these regulations – all breeders should be required to comply. Dogs Trust is working towards the day when all dogs can live a happy life, with no exceptions.”
North Antrim MLA Paul Frew: “I was delighted to visit Dogs Trust Ballymena and made a number of new four-legged friends. There is a lot happening in the animal welfare field at the moment and my visit gave me a great opportunity to see first hand the work of the charity.
“I am eager to build as broad a picture of the impact that the new breeding establishment regulations may have in Northern Ireland, and this visit will certainly inform my upcoming deliberations with the rest of the Agriculture Committee as we strive to reach consensus.”
Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for over 16,000 abandoned and unwanted dogs a year. Dogs Trust continues to support the microchipping of all dogs in Northern Ireland, and was delighted when it was made compulsory in April of this year. Since the change in legislation the Charity has successfully chipped over 40,000 dogs, adding to the 80,000 helped in the year leading up to the change. Please contact Dogs Trust Ballymena on 0845 606 3036 to find out how you can get your free microchip. For more information about Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.