Under new proposals being introduced in Northern Ireland Illegal puppy farm owners could be jailed for up to five years under new laws tackling the issue.
The news comes after the North’s Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said she was determined to increase the penalties to stamp out the offence. Ms O’Neil said: “I am minded towards strengthening legislation where necessary. We have to do everything we can to make it a deterrent.”
The Sinn Féin minister made her statement regarding the issue during Question Time at the Assembly in Stormont. Ms O’Neil told her fellow delegates: “We have very strong legislation in place, however there is always room for improvement.”
The new proposal will replace current legislation, which punishes those found guilty of dog breeding offences with a sentence of six months in prison and a £5,000 fine. The new proposals will apparently see sentences significantly increased to 12 months, with a potential five-year jail term and unlimited fine for repeat convictions.