After passing the NSW Legislative Council last year, the amended Puppy Farms Bill has failed to make it to the NSW Legislative Assembly.
This means the legislation will likely lapse with the dissolving of the of the NSW parliament in the lead up to the March election.
Anthony Ramsey, President of the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA), said this will likely put it back to the start of the legislative process again.
“The best-case scenario would be the new parliament picks up the already amended legislation proposal that PIAA now supports as its starting point. Unfortunately, the Animal Justice Party are again likely to attempt to reintroduce a more hard-line version of the bill.
“This threat is further magnified should the AJP become king makers with balance of power in the NSW legislative council after the election.”
Ramsey says that the PIAA is ready to swing into action during the election campaign and before the new parliament to represent its members interests, supporting responsible and ethical breeding practices.
Amongst the amendments was that pet shops who are members of an applicable industry association will now be able to sell puppies and kittens provided they are sourced from approved registered breeders.
For breeders, the lifetime litters for breeding females will now be capped at five instead of the previously proposed two, with a maximum of 50 breeding females at a commercial breeding facility at any point in time, and a 1:25 staff to dog ratio.
Ramsey reiterated that the PIAA supports the implementation of improved regulations that ensures adherence to the highest animal welfare standards.
“PIAA agrees that ‘puppy farms’ and bad retailers who do not put the welfare of their animals first have no future in this industry.
“This however cannot be at the cost of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. This alternative, should the AJP be successful, would see puppies and kittens becoming unaffordable and possibly completely inaccessible to the average Australian family.
“Any legislation that negatively impacts the dog and cat population and the Australian public’s easy access to companion animals will be bad for our entire pet industry.”