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Coveney announces Public Consultation in relation to the Dog Breeding Establishment Guidelines

Published on Thursday, 01 Dec 2016
Minister Simon Coveney

The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D. has today (1 December 2016) announced the commencement of a public consultation process on the draft review document of the current Dog Breeding Establishment (DBE) Guidelines.

‘I am pleased to announce the commencement of this very important consultation process’, the Minister said. ‘In late 2015, my Department agreed to begin a process of review of the current Dog Breeding Establishment Guidelines, under the auspices of the County and City Managers Association Dogs Working Group. The work undertaken to date has been to produce a first draft revision’.

However, I believe that it is essential to broaden the review of the Guidelines to a more formal public consultation, both for quality assurance and to address the need for openness and inclusiveness. I have therefore decided to proceed to a wide-scale formal public consultative process which commences today and closes on 28 February 2017.   

I am therefore inviting interested parties to make written submissions or comments, preferably in electronic format, on the draft revised DBE Guidelines by 5.30pm Tuesday, 28 February, 2017 by email to, or by post to the Dog Control Unit, Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Government Buildings, Ballina, Co. Mayo. F26 E8N6’.

‘I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the County and City Managers Association Dogs Working Group for undertaking this comprehensive review of the Dog Breeding Establishment Guidelines and for compiling the revised document’, the Minister concluded.


Note to Editors

       The key changes in this first draft revision relate to:

  • Increase in the physical standards required for kennels
  • Minimum sizes for kennels and exercise areas specified
  • Stricter hygiene protocols, with references to approved disinfectants and availability of hot water and refrigerated storage
  • Specific exercise periods with minimal daily frequencies
  • Specific staffing requirements at minimum of 1 whole time equivalent (WTE) per 30 female dogs
  • Specific training requirement for staff, with the larger DBE required to have at least one member formally trained and certified
  • Specific reference to socialisation of pups and enrichment and enhancement for all dogs
  • Written programmes on exercise, socialisation, enhancement and enrichment to be submitted to the local authority for approval.
  • Written programme on animal health, agreed by veterinary practitioner, to include a responsible breeding programme and bitch/stud dog retirement plan.
  • Local Authority Veterinary Service (LAVS) to adopt a risk based inspection regime, risk assessing every DBE to determine the inspection frequency, as opposed to current annual inspection regime.
  • The Working Group is representative of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland, the Local Authority Veterinary Services, the ISPCA and the DSPCA. All of these bodies have a formal regulatory role and the requisite expertise in this area.  Meetings to review the Guidelines commenced last January.
  • Section 15 (5) of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, allows the Minister to go out to a public consultation.