Upper Bann MP David Simpson has spoken out about the lack of dog breeders registering with local councils.
Mr Simpson. who was recently appointed a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Sub-Committee on Animal Welfare at Westminster, revealed that there are just two registered dog breeders in Banbridge,
David Simpson said “The EFRA sub committee on Animal Welfare was set up in April this year to look at the current Animal Welfare Act and its effectiveness.
“The committee recently received oral evidence on domestic pets and some of the findings were astonishing.
“Only 10% of breeders in the UK are registered and the ABC Council confirmed that in the whole of the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon area only 12 are registered; two of these within Banbridge.
“I want to call on all breeders to register with their local councils, this will allow a greater public confidence in breeders and put those who are wilfully neglecting animals, whose aim is to make money, identifiable to the local authorities who can then pursue this neglect through the appropriate channels.
“Northern Ireland has now the most stringent laws in the UK and I will continue both locally and through the committee to see enforcement of these laws followed through.
“It is my ambition to see a ‘Banned Offenders Register’,” the MP added.
USPCA spokesman David Wilson agreed with Mr Simpson, describing the lack of registered dog breeders as a ‘huge problem’.
He said: “The lack of registered breeders is an absolute concern. It’s a huge problem.” he stated. “Those selling them don’t care about the dogs, they care about their wallet.
“The other aspect is that the first thing a puppy needs is to be socialised. Disease is also a huge problem, inbreeding, which can cause all sorts of defects. It’s a horrible business that needs to be regulated. We have the legislation to do it, the councils have to go out and find them and make them register, or people have to come forward.”