By Kyra Gillespie
New laws surrounding puppy farms and pet shops have gone “too far” according to concerned local breeders.
Reforms under the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 will slash the number of fertile female animals allowed to be owned by one individual.
The blanket reforms target breeders across the board, and many reputable breeders believe the laws are targeting the wrong people.
“These new laws will force the industry underground,” breeder Chris Moore from Beaconsfield-Berwick Pet Resort said.
“They should leave the good breeders alone and go after the bad ones.
“There are already steps in place to close down the bad breeders – no one needs these new laws.”
If the legislation is passed, anyone that owns a fertile female dog will be classed as a domestic animal business and anyone that owns for than 10 bitches will be heavily penalised.
Mr Moore and his wife Sue have been running their business for over a decade, where they run a dog boarding kennel and also breed Old English Sheepdogs.
They are concerned when the new laws come in that they will lose a lot of their female dogs.
They have many questions and concerns, such as what will happen to their dogs that they are unable to keep due to the new quota and about their current dogs’ wellbeing if they have to get rid of them.
“We keep nine fertile bitches, of which one is fertile but can’t breed and can’t go under the knife,” Ms Moore said.
“What if we were to have a litter and want to keep one of the girls, what then happens to her?
“Under these laws she has no future.
“They keep tightening the reins on the wrong people. All they are doing is hurting the people doing the right thing and pushing breeding underground where the conditions can’t be regulated.”
While in full support of cleaning up the minority of the industry that needs to be fixed, Gembrook MP Brad Battin shares the concerns for those who are doing the right thing.
“Instead of punishing the despicable actions of irresponsible and cruel breeders, these blanket reforms will unfairly penalise dog lovers and responsible breeders who treat their dogs with the highest levels of care,” he said.
“The legislation ignores advice from the RSPCA and Australian Veterinary Association which told parliament that the number of dogs a person owned had no bearing on the welfare of the animals.
“There are very few puppies that are being sold through pet shops these days as most source through a breeder and have photos instead of having them in-store.
“It will now become more difficult and expensive for families to choose a dog and know exactly where it’s come from.”