Written by Bob Croucher

Emma Hurst who represents the Animal Justice Party in the NSW Legislative Council has put forward a Bill to amend the Companion Animals Act.

The point of this Bill is to:

  • Set out actions a council must take towards rehoming a seized or surrendered animal before destroying the animal.

A very worthy cause that I’m sure most people will agree with. Just common sense really. In fact, it makes you wonder why you need to legislate such a Bill.

Then we have the other views of Emma Hurst such as puppy farming and pet shops.

What is considered a puppy farm?

A puppy farm is where multiple dogs are continually bred, and the puppies sold. They are kept in poor conditions as the ‘breeders’ don’t care for their health and happiness. They are very different to reputable breeders.

This definition separating reputable breeders from those that are not, is not clearly explained to the public. The word ‘farm’ is not considered a negative word when it comes to cows or sheep and yet we are talking about the same thing, animals bred for sale.

There are a couple of dog breeders that I am aware of that have a large number of breeding dogs. They have made large investments to ensure that the animals are housed in comfortable surroundings, fed the best food, attended by adequate staff to ensure the welfare of the animals including vets on call.

New South Wales and Victoria have had Senate Inquiries relating to companion animal welfare and both found that the issue was not with large breeders or pet shops. The puppies produced by these breeders sell for more than $5,000, it is highly unlikely that those puppies would be dumped or handed over to welfare agencies.

The Victorian Government ignored the results of their Inquiry and banned the sale of puppies in pet shops and reduced the number of breeding dogs that a breeder could have. Today there are still breeders that are not conforming to the state laws, more are being sold on the internet and thousands of dollars have been lost through puppy scams.

All breeders in NSW are required to adhere to the following code of practice.

Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding dogs and cats

If there is an issue, then the problem is enforcing the existing laws, not making new ones.