As you will be aware there is considerable public concern and interest in the welfare of dogs used for breeding. This relates to much evidence that breeding parents (e.g. bitches and stud dogs) are often kept for years enduring very poor conditions, and also the profound concerns about the health and socialisation of puppies produced.
Your authority is likely to be in the position of licensing dog breeders as a statutory responsibility under the Breeding of Dogs Act, 1973 and the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act, 1999. Licensing provides a means by which members of the public may check that conditions in which dogs are kept and reared meet certain minimum standards.
Firstly, would you please be kind enough to provide me under the Freedom of Information Act the below:
1. Full list of current dog breeding establishments in your jurisdiction, including residential, commercial and pet shop licensees.
2. Including full names, addresses and telephone numbers.
3. Total number of breeding bitches and stud dogs on site.
4. Last date of inspection and copy of subsequent report.
5. Copy of each license and what specific breed/s this corresponds to.
6. Any complaints to date with any of the licensees.
I would also like to request that in the interest of transparency your authority publishes details of all your licensed breeders in the Animal Licensing area of the authority’s web-site. This would have a number of key benefits:
• Enabling members of the public to readily ascertain whether a dog breeder has a licence and meets certain standards before deciding to purchase from them.
• Facilitating enforcement by making it more straightforward to identify and report eligible breeders operating without a licence.
• Providing information efficiently and cost-effectively reducing costs associated with Freedom of Information requests
You may be interested to learn that where certain authorities have declined to make this information publicly available on the grounds that this is ‘personal data’, this has been successfully appealed through the Information Rights Tribunal. The Tribunal found unanimously that it was in the public interest to provide this information in regulated commercial activity which is subject to a public licensing regime to protect the welfare of animals. (First-tier Tribunal Information Rights Appeal EA/2012/0238).