Ray Cullivan: Planning Application to Cavan County Council for puppy farm housing 300 bitches

Wooden whelping boxes used on Cullivan's premises in 2016. According to Cavan Co Co these are no longer in use.


Following the airing of the BBC Panorama programme (click here to view it) in May 2016 it was revealed that Cullivan was operating part of his substantial breeding establishment in breach of planning permission and that he had no planning permission for other sections of the facility.

He applied for retention permission in August 2016. A number of objections based on environmental and animal welfare grounds were lodged. Cullivan was required to furnish further information to the Council to address the concerns raised in the objections. He was given 6 months to do this.

In the meantime he was issued by Cavan County Council with an enforcement notice that required him to stop using some of the buildings, and required both Cullivan Jnr and Snr to pay a fine of €4,000 each. Cavan will not confirm whether these fines have been paid.

Cullivan submitted the further application in February. The submissions can be viewed on the Cavan planning portal application number 16365. A comprehensive review was undertaken of this information and it was found to be completely deficient. Some of the issues identified included:

  • There was total disregard for the environment. Of most significance is that Cullivan intends to dispose of raw dog faeces by spreading it on tillage land in County Louth. The waste water he plans to irrigate his land with. Dog waste is extremely dangerous to human health, livestock and poses serious threats to water ways.
  • A complete failure by Cullivan to detail how the physical facility and the day to day operation would comply with animal welfare laws.
  • The main expert reports was premised on data relating to waste that had been provided to her by Cullivan. It was shown that this data was likely to be completely inaccurate.
  • The noise report contained no information to detail who prepared the report, what their qualifications were and whether the equipment used was appropriate and adequately functioning.

.... and these are just a handful of the issues.

The application was considered by a Cavan County Council assistant planner who concluded that permission should be denied. This decision was overturned by the senior planner Nicholas O'Kane and Cullivan was granted permission. The decisions can all be viewed on the planning portal link above.

Funds were raised by a team that we work with to engage experts in order that an appeal could be mounted to the granting of permission. In mid April a substantial appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanala. It had the support of 6 TDs (members of parliament), over 50 rescues and over 30 musicians and entertainers.

Cullivan and Cavan have the opportunity to respond to these submissions and this will be due in the coming weeks. We will keep you updated.