THE State Government should scrap its withdrawn “puppy farm bill” and consult dog breeders to avoid creating new regulations with unnecessary red tape, according to Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay.
Mr Ramsay said he had heard from more than 100 legitimate and small-time breeders who were concerned about the sweeping restrictions of the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016.
Speaking in parliament on Thursday, Mr Ramsay asked the Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford about the future of the puppy farm legislation, which he said resembled “a dog’s breakfast”.
“I cannot remember a bill being second read in the Legislative Assembly and then withdrawn, not to see the light of day again,” he said.
“It has inflamed huge community concern, with dog owners, breeders, farmers and local councils ringing my office saying that the proposed legislation will increase red tape and result in costly compliance and significant costs to breeders, show societies and local government.
“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.”