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Join Us In Objecting to a GIANT Dog Breeding Establishment

Updated: Jul 19, 2022


LET’S OBJECT TO A GIANT DOG BREEDING ESTABLISHMENT! WHOOP!


A Northern Irish dog breeding establishment has submitted a planning application to build more kennels. The current licenses allow them to keep 800 breeding bitches and 100 dogs in a facility that, *by their own admission*, was only meant to accommodate 600 dogs AND puppies. So, if half of these 800 bitches at any time have a litter of 4 puppies, that means there are 2,500 dogs in a facility designed for 600.


Just imagine that. Think about that in THIS HEAT! Let's stop it before it starts.


QUICKFIRE YAY OR NAY:

  • Support an intensive dog breeding facility?

  • Support an intensive dog breeding facility that may have 900 dogs AND LOTS of puppies?

  • Support an intensive dog breeding facility with up to 900 dogs and lots of puppies and ONLY 7 staff members?

All nays? Samesies (fist bumps & all of that)! Wanna help us do something about it? Read on…


So, there is a dog breeding facility in Northern Ireland run by a company called The UK Dog Breeding Academy. The directors of this company are the Hamilton brothers, the ignominious stars of a 2015 BBC documentary ‘The Dog Factory’ (see from 39:00 onwards).


In 2016, they applied to effectively upgrade their facilities and create a series of new buildings to house the 600 dogs on site. Long story short, permission was granted, but one of the conditions was that the number of dogs - including pups - should not exceed 600. A bunch of other applications were made by David Hamilton/UK Dog Breeding Academy between 2018-2019 to build new kennels, but always on the basis that this was being done (1) to improve the welfare of the dogs on site and (2) that there would be no increase in numbers above 600 dogs and pups.


Fast forward to 2021. Private Eye magazine published an article called Lucy’s Flaw on the Hamiltons and two English breeders/breeding establishments: Eric Lancaster and Kelly’s Kennels. It turns out that, to get around Lucy’s Law (and we have written about this on our blog), the English breeders were given licenses to have breeding dogs at the Hamiltons’ premises in Northern Ireland. What this means is that the Hamiltons’ breeding facility at 83 Clabby Road is now licensed to keep 900 dogs (and remember this number does not include puppies), whilst we say the premises only has planning permission for 600 dogs and puppies. On the basis of the planning applications it is only designed to accommodate 600 dogs and puppies.


So to just break down how bad we think the position is:


Of the 900 dogs licensed to the premises, there are 800 breeding bitches. If half of these bitches have a litter of 4 puppies at the same time that means there are 2,500 dogs in a facility designed for 600. THIS IS NOT OK.


We told the council about this problem in 2021, and after a year of pissing about, they essentially came back and told us to feck off. They said the 600 restriction only applied to one building - we don't agree on the basis of the planning history and the reason for the limitation (noise). Don't worry, we are still gonna take on that battle! But for now, we need to address this current application.


Which is that: now the UK Dog Breeding Academy has applied for permission to build MORE kennels. But the application is missing crucial information about noise, waste, cleaning, how wastewater will be dealt with, etc. Not only this, but the scant information provided suggests that this facility is very understaffed – the application says that it only employs 7 people. Even if there are only the 900 dogs (and no puppies) as the licenses allow, that's one staff member per 128 dogs. In England the guidelines for local authorities recommend a staff to dog ratio of a maximum of 1:20.


Basically this application is totally inadequate and it needs to be booted out. Also the Council need to do something about the fact that this facility, on our analysis, is not operating in compliance with the permission that has been granted. SO HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN. Click the link below to send an objection email 👇

https://epicpublic.planningni.gov.uk/publicaccess/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=REACM3SV30000

Register your details (really easy) then OBJECT with your notes. Please be polite and courteous. We have suggested wording below - but it’s entirely up to you what to write.


Fermanagh and Omagh Council Planning


Dear Planning Officer


Re: Planning Application LA10/2022/0707/F – Application for the erection of kennel buildings and external exercise runs and all associated works at 83 Clabby Road, Furnish, BT75 0QY (“the Planning Application”)


I wish to submit an objection to the Planning Application sought by The UK Dog Breeding Academy Limited (“the Applicant”).


The reasons for my objection are as follows:

1. Numbers of dogs on site – The Planning Application does not detail how many dogs the Applicant intends to keep at the facility. I understand that Planning Application LA10/2016/0636/F entitled the Applicant to keep 600 dogs and puppies at the site. All subsequent applications[1] were premised on the number of dogs remaining at 600 dogs and puppies. I understand the Fermanagh and Omagh Council has now licensed this facility to keep 900 dogs[2] (800 female and 100 male) with no limit as to the number of puppies. The facilities were not designed to house this many dogs. The number of dogs on site is a matter that is relevant for planning purposes. Until the Applicant provides details about the number of dogs kept and the average number of puppies bred on site, this Application should not be considered.


2. Transport and staffing – Transport and parking is a consideration for planners. The number of staff employed by the facility will have a direct bearing on the number of vehicle visits to the site and the adequacy of the parking arrangements. The Applicant submits that the facility employs 7 staff and therefore there are 7 vehicle visits and 7 parking spaces required for them[3]. Welfare legislation and codes require this facility to be adequately staffed. On the basis of the license, which excludes puppies, the staffing ratio is 1 staff member to every 128 dogs. This increases significantly when one factors in puppies. Northern Ireland has not prescribed a staff to dog ratio, but the licensing guidance for dog breeding establishments in England suggests a maximum staffing ration of 1 staff member to 20 dogs. I refer to this as it is helpful to give a sense of appropriate staffing levels. It would appear this facility is understaffed and this has an impact on traffic movements and parking. The information provided by the Applicant about transport should not be relied upon for this reason.


3. Disposal of Solid Waste – The planning application requires the Applicant to detail the nature of the waste that is generated on site, but also to provide details of the volume of waste. The Applicant has advised that dog waste which is faeces, soiled bedding and grooming waste, is incinerated on site. The Applicant has not provided details of the volume of this waste. It is likely that a facility that houses 900 dogs and potentially thousands of puppies will produce a lot of waste. If this is being burned it may produce a great deal of pollution. Has the Council considered this issue? The Applicant also needs to explain what is done with the ash that is produced.


4. Disposal of Wastewater – The Applicant is required to keep the facility clean and consequently wastewater will be produced. The Applicant has not detailed how often the premises will be cleaned and consequently how much waste water will be generated. The Drainage Plan does not detail how big the holding tank that captures this waste water is, so it is unclear whether it is of sufficient size. Nor has the Applicant detailed how the wastewater will be disposed of. I want to reiterate that the Applicant must ensure that any estimates about wastewater should take account of the statutory obligation to keep the facility clean and therefore calculations must be substantiated.


5. The nature of this development - The Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland (SPPS) places Sustainable Development at the heart of the planning system. The SPPS sets out the need to protect and enhance the built and natural environment, including landscape character. The SPPS states that our environment must be managed in a sustainable manner in accordance with the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitment to preserve and improve the built and natural environment and halt the loss of biodiversity. On the very limited information available this facility is not a sustainable development. Dog breeding is not an industry that can justify the environmental impacts that it inflicts. Furthermore, the licenses granted for 400 of the dogs kept at this facility are licensed to individuals resident in England and who will likely sell puppies bred at these facilities in England. In essence, this arrangement outsources dog breeding to Northern Ireland with all the related impacts this brings in terms of environmental impact, the impacts on amenity etc.


I respectfully request the Council refuse permission and require the Applicant to reduce the number of dogs kept on site to those detailed in Planning Permission LA10/2016/0636/F.


Yours faithfully,

[1] LA10/2018/0750/F; LA10/2019/0753/F; LA10/2019/1105/F; LA10/2021/0757/F [2] Kelly’s Kennels licensed to keep 300 bitches on 10 March 2022; Eric Lancaster licensed to keep 250 bitches on 13 December 2021; David Hamilton licensed to keep 250 bitches and 100 dogs on 1 April 2022. [3] Please see question 25 of the application form.



Also in case you need it - here’s the email address for the planning office: planning@fermanaghomagh.com

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