Dogs NSW has warned that should the Animal Justice Party (AJP) and the Greens gain extra seats in the upcoming NSW election, dog ownership could suffer.

The Companion Animals policies that the NSW AJP and Greens have issued could reduce the number of dogs available for Australians by restricting breeding and elimination of certain purebred dogs, believe Dogs NSW.

Lyn Brand, President of Dogs NSW, stated that Dogs NSW does not support puppy farms/factories nor any sub-standard conditions for any pets to live in, but their policies are not going to deter them, rather encourage them and make dog ownership that much harder for families in NSW.

“This is the time for NSW locals to make a choice and beware of the political parties such as the Greens and Animal rights groups whose policies don’t support Australian dog owners such as challenging dog ownership by removing their property status, restrict breeding and banning certain breeds such as pugs and bulldogs, thus limiting the number of dogs available to Australians, especially purebred dogs.

“They aim to have Australians purchase only rehoming dogs from animal shelters and rescue which inhibits the ability of families to select a type of dog or cat of their choice for size temperament or suitability to lifestyle.”

Last year, the Companion Animals Amendment Bill passed in the Upper House but there wasn’t enough time for it to pass in the lower house and become legislation, but if they obtain a seat in the upcoming election, this could change.

“The result will be consumers being forced online to buy pet dogs from unregulated breeders, risk being scammed out of thousands of dollars and potentially end up with a poorly bred dog with health or behavioural problems. This will be a huge incentive for unlicensed backyard operators, while ethnical registered breeders will be impacted. NSW is already the most heavily regulated state for companion animals,” said Brand.

Professor Claire Wade, University Chair of Computational Biology and Animal Genetics, said that the Companion Animals’ Bill amendments shown have no rationale in science and are discriminatory against dogs with recorded pedigrees and breeders that employ genetic testing.

“The rules would do nothing to prevent poor breeding practices in unmonitored breeding establishments. Legitimate breeding organisations already have ethical standards that support the outcomes that these poorly worded rules seek – those are the breeding together of healthy individuals, the application of sensible genetic and physical testing, and the prevention of breeding together of first-order relatives.

“We agree that all breeders should be held to the same standard, but the amendments as shown do nothing to support that. No part of the proposed Bill is either justifiable or desirable from any perspective, and particularly not from an animal welfare or animal genetic health perspective.”

Dogs NSW believe the AJP and Greens policies will create a scarcity of puppies and dogs in NSW, drive up prices, and foster the black-market trade in puppies that undermines welfare. 

Instead, Brand says the government need to focus on addressing the real issue to capture non-compliant dog and cat breeders.

“We need to encourage the public to buy puppies only if they have certificates of vaccination and are microchipped. This is already mandatory in NSW when selling a puppy in this state. It’s also the policy of professional and ethical dog breeding organisations like Dogs NSW and dog rescues such as the RSPCA. Puppies aren’t legally allowed to be sold under eight weeks of age and need to be microchipped before 12 weeks and vaccinated between six to eight weeks,” said Brand.

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