- Puppy and kitten farms have been banned in the ACT.
- New breeding legalisation in Victoria will see puppy farms become financially unviable and pet shops will become adoption centres instead of only selling points.
- Laws in NSW could be changed next if Labor is elected in March.
The Start of the Puppy Farm Industry Collapse
There’s a fair way to go to reach the ultimate goal of shutting down puppy and kitten farms completely, however, thanks to the relentless campaigning by Oscar’s Law since 1993, there’s finally been some movement in legislation that should bring an end to this cruel and exploitative industry in Australia.
> Quickly learn more about the work of Oscar’s Law and the fight against puppy farms.
The ACT takes the gold with unprecedented new legislation that criminalises the intensive breeding of female dogs and cats and introduces penalties of up to $15,000 (for an individual) or $75,000 (for a corporation) for those who exploit animals for the pet market. Puppy and kitten farms are now banned in the ACT thanks to the hard work of Greens party remember Shane Rattenbury MLA who introduced the bill.
In Victoria, Labor Government MP Jaala Pulford has recently signed a notice to amend the legislation that governs the breeding and rearing of domestic animals that will tighten regulations on the whole industry. Ultimately, these changes will make puppy farms completely financially unviable in Victoria as there are usually between 200-300 dogs at any one farm.
Labor had promised tougher measures as part of their Puppy Farm Policy prior to their election last November. The code of practice for dog breeding businesses is now to be amended where female dogs cannot have anymore than 5 litters and mandatory breeding vet checks will be reinstated. Pet shops will also be required to partner with animal shelters creating adoption centres.
NSW also appears like they will be following Victoria’s lead. If elected in March, Labor leader Luke Foley will ban the sale of puppies from pet stores along with a ban on large-scale puppy farms that would limit the amount of breeding dogs to 10 per farm–also causing puppy farms to become financially unviable.
The Future of Puppy Farms
Thankfully, it’s not a bright one. While the changes to Victoria and the potential changes in NSW aren’t as immediately dazzling as what the ACT has accomplished this week, the changes will make running a puppy farm financially unviable and are the start of a complete industry shutdown.
These kinds of changes to legislation are well over-due and pressure now exists for the remaining Australian states to implement changes. It is thought by most Australians that commercial dog and cat breeding is morally abhorrent and there is a rise in the public’s discontent for how our Governments and councils are treating cats and dogs.
The Lost Dogs Home is now under severe public scrutiny and a formal investigation into the euthanasia rate has been launched by the Victorian Government. Two senior board members have also now been sacked.
Currently, Australian councils outsource their animal sheltering responsibilities to the charity pounds–the RSPCA, the Lost Dogs Home and the Cat Protection Society–none of which have a no-kill policy. By collecting multiple tenders, these charities create an artificial state of ‘overpopulation’ and use this to justify the use of killing to manage their shelter populations. Upward of 250,000 dogs and cats are killed every year in Australia alone.
Countless volunteer-run, no-kill rescue groups around Australia work tirelessly to save animals through adoption programs and are pressuring councils to change their outsourcing policies. Of course, it isn’t just the Government and councils who are at fault–many members of the general public are irresponsible and uncaring and contribute directly to the breeding and deaths of thousands of dogs and cats every year.
While public education continues, larger public opinion often changes through the implementation of policy and law; the steps being taken by the ACT and Victoria are positive. When we have so animals in the pound system already who require loving homes, commercial dog and cat breeding is nothing but cruel and exploitative.
Puppy breeders: It’s time to start packing your bags.