Farmers urged to prevent careless breeding of collie dogs

A Galway-based animal welfare charity has called on farmers to take action to reduce the number of collie pups being born.

MADRA said there has been a surge in the number of surplus "working dogs" that are being abandoned or given to rescue centres.

It said collies accounted for nearly half of all animals brought to the Co Galway dog pound last year.

The charity has published an open letter to farmers urging them to put a stop to careless breeding by spaying female dogs.

It said its resources have been stretched to breaking point by the number of collies it has had to try to re-home.

MADRA said there is no real market for the dogs, pointing out that they can get over-stimulated or overwhelmed when placed in busy homes, or in an urban environment.

It said that while some of the hundreds of collies it receives can be sent to a specific rescue centre in the UK, the surge in numbers means this capacity is "drying up".

The organisation puts some of the increase in the number of abandoned dogs down to changes in farming practices, leaving the role previously played by collie dogs redundant.

It said farmers have a duty to ensure measures are taken to reduce the number of unwanted dogs being born.

The charity said several animal welfare organisations provide funding to subsidise, or cover in full the cost of neutering female dogs, and it has called on farmers to avail of the supports available in this regard.