A big dog breeder from Belgium, Rudy Guedens, is not getting government approaval for expanding his puppymill. His application to start a dog breeding company in Lummen was rejected for the second time. Last year he withdrew a request for a company with 480 dogs, after mass protests, now also a request for a smaller company has been rejected, by the municipality this time. That "smaller" is also relatively, the first license of 480 animals was about puppies and adult animals, the second was about adult animals excluding puppies, and that means that the second was more than 480 animals.
Protests had also started against the new 'downsized' application for the dog farm. More than 6000 people signed the petition online. These objections related to puppyfarming, external risks from biting dogs, odor nuisance and noise nuisance. In January, a potest march was organized in the municipality.
It is not the dogs suffering, but the noise that the municipality has used to ban the breeding facility. "Experiences from the past have shown that the objections concerning noise nuisance are well-founded and that in such establishments the noise nuisance for the environment can not be limited to a constantly acceptable level. Severe noise pollution is inherent to establishments in which so many dogs are kept. This noise is caused both when the dogs are being aired or fed and when visitors enter the facility and even with passing walkers. Limiting noise pollution is therefore virtually impossible. " Said Mayor Luc Wouters for Radio 2 Belgium.
According to the municipality, environmental permit applications for such establishments are always refused if there are dwellings within a distance of 200 meters. "Within a zone of 200 meters around the establishment, there are 31 homes", says Wouters. "The closest house is even at just 25 meters, which is why the city council refused the application."
The Belgian legislation makes it easy to trade young dogs. Since 2010 dogs under six months are not known as dogs for the legislation known as Vlarem II. That means that all dogs that are less than six months old do not count. If you want to keep a hundred dogs that are less than six months old, you do not need an environmental permit for this. This opens the door for more puppy farming, the import of puppies becomes easier. "
foto: Jan Faes