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ANIMAL welfare campaigners celebrate after plans for dog breeding kennels in Ebbw Vale were rejected by councillors.
Proposals to convert a former stable into 30 kennels at Star Fields, Mountain Road, were rejected by Blaenau Gwent Council’s planning committee on Thursday.
Charities and animal welfare groups – including Hope Rescue, Puppy Love Campaigns and CARIAD – have campaigned against the plans, with a petition signed by around 7,800 people within days of its launch.
Activists said the plans run counter to a motion unanimously passed by the council in December in favor of Lucy’s Law, which states that puppies must be sold from their place of birth.
Speaking afterwards, the founder of the charity Hope Rescue, Vanessa Waddon, said the ruling showed the public was “unanimous in their opposition to puppy breeding”.
Planning officers had, however, recommended the plans for approval, advising councilors to judge the application solely on planning policy and not on animal welfare issues.
The application proposed to keep no more than 25 dogs on site, not including puppies, in the building measuring 18.5m x 19m.
A report said officers were “satisfied that strict control was exercised over the number of dog farms at the development site”.
But Cllr Lisa Winnett pointed out that animal welfare laws require one full-time attendant for every 20 adult dogs kept – not 30 dogs as had been erroneously stated in a planning report.
The planning report also stated that the puppies would be transferred from their birthplace to be sold, which Cllr Winnett said was against Lucy’s law.
“By approving this request, we will sentence these dogs to a lifetime of being stuck inside this building being bred for money,” Cllr Winnett said.
The meeting heard that residents had raised animal welfare concerns and that several complaints had been made to council about barking dogs on the site causing disturbance.
Cllr Mandy Moore said more time was needed to review a large number of late filed objections and to seek advice on animal welfare issues.
But the committee accepted a motion to deny the request, brought by Cllr Gareth Davies, who said the issue needed to be resolved.
The committee will consider their reasons for refusal at a meeting next month.
Ms Waddon added: “This is a really important decision not only for Blaenau Gwent but also for other authorities in Wales.
“It shows that the public is now unanimous in their opposition to puppy breeding.
“The amount of public support we’ve had in the 18 hours since the petition was launched is incredible.”