Dog trains man

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hovawart Puppy Mill Breakdown: Change On The Way?

Many of you probably remember when the Danish Hovawart puppy mill was closed down in January last year, and the Hovawarts in the shelter welcomed an unexpected V.I.P. visitor, the Danish Minister of Agriculture & Animal Welfare, Mette Gjerskov.

She paid them a visit to learn more first-hand about the "puppy mill case" and the efforts from the shelter, "Dyrenes Beskyttelse", to re-home the survivors.

Back then, I wrote: "I am confident that our Hovawarts and Dyrenes Beskyttelse planted a little seed for the longer term aspects of this case - to make sure this never can happen again - and send Mette Gjerskov back to Copenhagen with some food for thought."

It took a while, and a change in Minister, but I do have exciting news.

Earlier this year in March, the new Minister, Dan Jørgesen - it's him on the photo - launched a new campaign, "A better dog life", containing among others initiatives to make people more aware of what it takes to care for a dog, to decrease the number of dogs euthanized because of behavioral issues, and to put a stop to breeding for fashion and not health, among others.

There were many initiatives launched all at once, and one of the initiatives didn't catch the public eye, but was that greatly needed first step on the way, to sharpen the control on puppy mills and dog trafficking, we are all longing for. The rules for registration and licensing were extended, to all individuals or businesses that either breed or trade with puppies commercially. Meaning, size doesn't matter anymore, and all who are commercially active around pets, need to be registered, acquire a license, and will receive veterinary control visits. And they include traffickers, or fronts thereof.

This process launched in August and is still unfolding, and along the way, surprise, surprise, we can already see more puppy mills are surfacing in Denmark - some even closed down on the spot. And also for the first time ever, it is on public record, and we can see how many dogs are actually kept inside the mills.

The registrations and inspections are expected to be finished at the end of this year, and all the experiences will be evaluated, to determine what next steps should be made, including possible new legislation.

It is a first step, and like me you will probably also think why it always has to go slow, but it does give me a good feeling an army of inspectors is driving through the country at this very moment, and are knocking on all those doors.

Change might be just around the corner, if, and only if, it will actually lead to new legislation and proper enforcement. At least the intention seems to be there now, with the proper authorities, to start acting.


  1. This is fantastic news! True, we'd love to see more done, and quicker - but it's a solid beginning. And it sure sounds like they mean business, since the mills are being exposed for what they really are, and some are even closing down. Yay!!

    Congrats on the new beginning! We here in the U.S. should learn from your success.

    Thanks for blogging the change for animals,

  2. Bravo! Good news! Change is so hard and the pro-puppy mills folks are hard to fight.

  3. Exciting news! Thank you so much for keeping us posted on the progress and for joining us today to blog the change for animals.



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