ANIMAL welfare campaigners are celebrating after plans for dog breeding kennels in Ebbw Vale were rejected by councillors.

The proposals to convert a former stable into 30 kennels at Star Fields, Mountain Road, was rejected by Blaenau Gwent council’s planning committee on Thursday.

Animal welfare charities and groups – including Hope Rescue, Puppy Love Campaigns and CARIAD – campaigned against the plans, with a petition signed by around 7,800 people within days of being launched.

Campaigners said the plans went against a motion unanimously passed by the council in December in support of Lucy’s Law, which states puppies must be sold from their place of birth.

Speaking afterwards, founder of the Hope Rescue charity, Vanessa Waddon, said the decision showed the public was “unanimous in their opposition to puppy farming”.

Planning officers had recommended the plans for approval, though, advising councillors to judge the application purely on planning policy and not animal welfare issues.

The application proposed to keep no more than 25 dogs on site, not including puppies, in the building measuring 18.5m x 19m.

A report said officers were “satisfied that strict control will be exercised over the number of breeding of dogs at the development site.”

But Cllr Lisa Winnett pointed out that animal welfare laws require one full-time attendant for every 20 adult dogs kept – not for every 30 dogs as had been incorrectly stated in a planning report.

The planning report also said that puppies would be transferred from their place of birth to be sold, which Cllr Winnett said went against Lucy’s Law.

“By approving this application we will be condemning these dogs to a life of being stuck inside that building being bred for money,” Cllr Winnett said.

The meeting heard animal welfare concerns had been raised by residents and several complaints made to the council over dogs barking at the site causing disturbance.

Cllr Mandy Moore said more time was needed to consider a large number of late objections lodged and to gain advice on animal welfare issues.

But the committee agreed to a motion to refuse the application, put forward by Cllr Gareth Davies, who said the issue needed to be resolved.

The committee will consider their grounds for refusal at a meeting next month.

Ms Waddon added: “This is a really important decision not only for Blaenau Gwent but for other authorities in Wales too.

“It shows the public is now unanimous in their opposition to puppy farming.

“The amount of public support we have had within 18 hours from when the petition was launched is incredible.”