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Co Armagh puppy farm at centre of BBC Panorama investigation

The conditions of a puppy farm in Co Armagh have been highlighted in a BBC Panorama investigation.

During the documentary, a BBC journalist visited a number of puppy farms where she said she found dogs living in cramped conditions and with hardly any water.

One of the farms shown in the programme was based in County Armagh.

It belonged to Eric Hale, one of the biggest licensed dog breeders in the country with licence for 120 breeding bitches. The beagles are all Kennel Club registered and have qualified for Crufts in the past.

The documentary showed that Mr Hale would travel by boat to Liverpool and drive up and down the UK dropping dogs off to different dealers, who would then place for sale ads online.

The BBC reporter watched the farm for several days and said she saw no sign of the dogs being routinely taken out of the barns, and said the behaviour of the dogs was “disturbing to watch”.

The law requires suitable bedding, but she said she found “little or none at all”.

In a statement, Eric Hale told BBC Panoriama his kennels met “all the requirements for a breeding establishment” and his dogs were “well socialised”.

He also said his dogs “had plenty of bedding of various types” and he would regularly “check, feed and water the dogs” when he was travelling with them.

Britain’s Puppy Dealers Exposed is repeated tonight (Tuesday) on BBC 2, at 10pm, or the full BBC Panorama can be watched here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07cgscx/panorama-britains-puppy-dealers-exposed

Image from BBC Panorama

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