breeding disgrace | 

Cork heiress exposed as owner of puppy farm ordered to close over shocking conditions

Inspectors allege dogs were confined in ‘undersized kennels in sub-zero temperatures’, some were ‘eating own faeces’ and others had ‘no access to clean water’

Anne Broderick

The dog breeding establishment is on the family farm in Doneraile, Co Cork

Broderick speaks to our reporter

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

A wealthy heiress who inherited her father’s lands as part of his €11 million estate can today be exposed as the owner of a puppy farm ordered to close over shocking breaches of animal welfare legislation.

Inspectors who visited Anne Broderick’s breeding establishment in Cork allege dogs were confined in “undersized kennels in sub-zero temperatures” with “no access to bedding or heat-lamps”, some were “eating their own faeces” and others had “no access to clean drinking water.”

They also allege they discovered 218 dogs, including 76 puppies, at the facility when they visited on December 12 – even though Broderick had been licensed to keep a maximum number of 50 bitches.

Broderick – who was ordered to close her dog breeding establishment on the family farm at the Hermitage, Doneraile, with immediate effect – disputed the inspector’s findings when approached by the Sunday World this week.

“You’ll have to speak to my solicitor,” she said..

The dog breeding establishment is on the family farm in Doneraile, Co Cork

“All will be revealed in due course. I have been wronged and that’s it.”

Asked whether she would be appealing the order, she replied: “It has been appealed. It has been. My solicitor has appealed it.”

As well as breeding dogs and farming, Broderick also has an involvement in horse breeding.

Her father John was registered as the breeder of well-known Cheltenham winner ‘Paddy De Plasterer.’

Anne who joined the ownership syndicate in the winner’s enclosure after the horse won the Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase in 2009 previously told how she ‘bought her first mare when I was only in the Inter Cert’.

“I had a couple of cattle and swapped them for the first mare and that’s how I got into horses.”

Anne’s dad, John, passed away on April 19, 2016 leaving an estate valued at €11,063,582.

Property records show she was registered as owner of her dad’s half share in the farm on May 1st of 2018.

A local source this week told the Sunday Worldthat Anne had been running a dog breeding establishment from the farm for a number of years.

“It was well known she was breeding dogs and it’s not illegal to breed dogs,” the source said.

“But none of the neighbours would ever have gone in around the back to the sheds where the dogs were.

“You’d knock on the front door if you were visiting.

Broderick speaks to our reporter

“You’d hear the dogs but it was not in a distressed way, you’d take no notice because you’d think it was feeding time.

“There was never any hint there that something was wrong.

“What was outlined in that closure notice has shocked people.”

According to the Dog Breeding Establishment Register, Broderick was registered from 2014 to run a breeding facility where the maximum number of bitches that could be kept was limited to 50.

But, according to the closure notice issued by the Veterinary Department of Cork County Council on January 3, this was just one of a number of conditions she failed to comply with.

In the notice, served on Broderick by registered post, she was informed: “Cork County Council is satisfied that the operation of the establishment poses a serious and immediate threat to animal welfare.”

And she was directed to cease breeding or keeping dogs at the establishment, to surrender (her) registration certificate to the local authority and to enable, at her own expense, the rehousing of all dogs kept at the establishment.

She was further cautioned that if she contravened the closure notice, she shall be guilty of an offence.

Among a litany of breaches outlined were failures to provide suitable accommodation for the dogs in respect of quarters, numbers of dogs, cleanliness, exercise facilities, temperature requirements and beds.

The inspectors noted there were 218 dogs, including approximately 76 puppies, at the establishment on December 12.

They noted there was a consistent pattern of poor management practice at the establishment.

They noted poor hygiene practices evidenced by faeces/ excrement and a strong smell of urine and excrement in some kennel blocks.

Dog faeces was noted in some beds and rubble/disused materials stored served as harbourage for vermin.

The inspectors further stated there was a failure to provide for exercise and behavioural requirements of dogs at the establishment.

They said some of the dogs displayed fearful and abnormal behaviours – including repetitive behaviour, abnormal postures and coprophagia or eating of dog faeces.

They noted a failure to ensure the thermal comfort of many of the dogs including during sub-zero temperatures.

At the time of the inspection on December 12th, they recorded a temperature reading at bed level in one of the sheds at 0.7 degrees celsius but said neither bedding nor heat sources such as heat lamps were provided for the majority of the dogs.

They noted a failure to provide clean drinking water for all the dogs at the establishment.

Water was unavailable in two pens where 14 dogs were kept and they found varying levels of contamination of water bowls.

Also noted by the inspectors was the ‘confinement of dogs in undersized kennels in sub-zero temperatures without bedding or a heat source.’

Two adult German shepherds, they said, were confined in a space of less than 6 square metres and were walking in their own faeces.

The minimum kennel size requirement for two large breed dogs confined without free access to exercise is 8.5 square metres.

A Labrador bitch and male cocker spaniel were confined in similar conditions.

The inspectors noted a lack of adequate socialisation – with many of the dogs not habituated to human contact.

They further recorded a lack of adequate grooming and said there was considerable matting of two Yorkshire terriers and one Pomeranian.

Broderick, they said, failed to present detailed records, including the bitch register, whelping (birth) records, dog identification and sales/transfer records, when requested.

There was also a failure to present treatment records, an animal health programme for breeding and retirement, an exercise, socialisation and enrichment plan or documented cleaning procedures.

There was a failure to provide a suitable isolation facility contrary to disease control requirements and a failure to adequately staff the establishment.

Lastly, there was failures to comply with the requirements for the national micro-chipping of dogs’ legislation and failures to comply with an improvement notice dated October 12 last year and an animal welfare notice dating from October 27.

Broderick was given seven days to appeal the closure order dating from its service by registered post.

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