Puppy Farm Changes Fast-Tracked

The Andrews Labor Government has fast-tracked changes to improve the welfare of breeding dogs and cats, with increased powers for councils to protect vulnerable animals now in effect.

The Primary Industries Legislation Amendment Act 2014 (the Act) provides additional protection for animals by:

  • placing greater onus on domestic animal businesses to register breeding dogs and cats with an applicable organisation or council
  • providing councils with greater flexibility to issue lifelong animal identification
  • requiring councils to refuse registration or re-registration of a domestic animal business if the person who owns or conducts the business has been found guilty of animal cruelty in the past 10 years
  • giving councils greater powers to seize animals from domestic animal businesses if they refuse registration or renewal on the grounds that the person who owns or runs the business has been found guilty of cruelty to animals.

Announcing the fast-tracked changes at the opening of Second Chance Animal Rescue Shelter today, Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford said the previous Liberal Government slated the changes to commence on 1 July 2015.

The Labor Government has brought forward the changes affecting domestic dogs and cats so the animals can benefit from stronger protections sooner.

Bringing forward the changes means that the timing now coincides with the registration period for dogs, cats and domestic animal businesses with local councils.

Further changes requiring pet shop owners to make and keep records in relation to every cat or dog sold are scheduled for July 1, 2015.

The previous Liberal Government’s animal welfare measures didn’t go far enough. The Labor Government is getting on with implementing its comprehensive plan to crack down on puppy farms and toughen protections even further.

The Government will provide the RSPCA with additional resources to tackle puppy farms and toughen up their inspectorate powers, limit breeding dogs to five litters, reinstate mandatory breeding vet checks and require pet stores to only sell puppies supplied by a registered breeder or animal shelter.

Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford has stated that:

“The Andrews Labor Government takes animal welfare seriously – that’s why we’ve fast-tracked these changes so breeding dogs and cats can benefit from greater protections sooner.”

“The Liberal’s animal welfare measures didn’t go far enough.”

“Our plan to crack down on puppy farms will make the laws stronger, saving breeding dogs and cats from a lifetime of misery.”