THE State Government needs to scrap its withdrawn “puppy farm bill” and consult dog breeders to avoid creating new regulations with unnecessary red tape.
The Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford has made an absolute mess of the legislation, which has caused incredible division, hurt and worry among legitimate and small-time hobby breeders.
The Economic and Infrastructure Standing Committee will this week call for the Andrews Government to abandon its plan to limit breeders to owning a maximum of 10 female dogs.
This legislation has inflamed huge community concern, with more than 100 dog owners, breeders, farmers and local councils ringing and emailing my office to say that the proposed legislation will increase red tape. It would also result in costly compliance and significant costs to breeders, show societies and local government, as well as the local councils who will have to administer and police the permit compliance.
The puppy farm legislation is simply a dog’s breakfast. I can’t remember a bill being second read in the Legislative Assembly and then withdrawn, not to see the light of day again.
To quote new councillor Bev McArthur of the Corangamite shire, the government is ‘using a sledgehammer to squash a pea’ to try and improve animal welfare standards in industrial-scale puppy farming.
My advice to the minister is to scrap the legislation and start engaging with stakeholders to find a way to avoid overlaying costly bureaucratic compliance against puppy breeders who are doing the right thing and adhering to the Domestic Animals Act 1994 codes and standards.
The legislation needs to use current animal welfare codes and standards and laws to have large-scale puppy factories and Dogs Victoria members legally compliant.