Last year OUR DOGS reported on a government Bill in Victoria, Australia, that would have 'decimated' dog showing.
Campaigners were pleased when the Bill was not enacted after an inquiry found that the Bill's intention to improve animal welfare and bring an end to puppy farming would have actually affected responsible breeders, and could have led to more puppy farms coming into existence.
Dog breeders in the state were overjoyed when the Economy and Infrastructure Committee ruled that the controversial Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 should be ditched.
Joshua Morris, chair of the committee, wrote at the time, 'the Committee recommends that the government withdraw the current Bill and immediately establish a stakeholder group of industry, municipal and community representatives to consult on the drafting of a new Bill.'
The new Bill is seen to be an improvement on the original bill which limited fertile females to nine and if you had a single fertile female (and bred) you would have had to register as a Domestic Animal Business (DAB).
Under the new proposals pet shops will not be able to sell pedigree dogs and breeders will face tougher restrictions to sell online. Pet shops will only be able to sell dogs that come from shelters and rescues. Anyone advertising puppies online must sign up to a new statewide register.
The maximum number of animals a commercial breeder will be able to own will be cut from 150 to 50 and all large operations will require ministerial consent and regular inspections.
Also a breeder with three or more dogs will have to register with a recognised organisation such as DOGS Victoria (DV).
It was DOGS Victoria that led the opposition to the original Bill and under that proposed legislation they would have lost their status as an applicable organisation (AO). They have been working with the government on the new Bill.
However they do still have concerns with the legislation. They said, 'Further improvements to various processes in the Bill are needed particularly around approvals, reporting timelines by Aos and rights of appeal.
'A government registry may improve the traceability of breeders who advertise, but in its current form it does not guarantee improved welfare outcomes.
'Government should also consider existing options for improved traceability of animals such as the microchip registers.'
The government though are positive that the new proposals will be supported across the state. Minister of Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, said, 'We're finishing what we started, delivering on our election commitment to end puppy farming, ban the sales of breeders' puppies and kittens in pet shops and better regulate the online sale of dogs and cats.
'We're getting it done and ending cruel and barbaric puppy farming.'