|Victoria leads the way over puppies
The state of Victoria in Australia is leading the way as its parliament has passed legislation to ban the sale of puppies in pet shops to bring to an end the misery of puppy farming.
Earlier this month we reported that the state was putting forward proposals whereby pet shops will not be able to sell pedigree dogs and that they will only be able to sell dogs that come from shelters and rescues. This will mean that pet shops will become adoption centres.
The Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 was passed by legislators by just two votes.
A long campaign to ban third party sales of dogs in pet shops under the banner of Oscar's Law has been running in the country for many years.
Oscar was a puppy farmed dog who is now safe but he had numerous serious ailments because of the severe cruelty he suffered at the puppy farm.
A similar campaign, Lucy's Law, has been launched in this country by vet and campaigner Marc Abraham to bring an end to puppy farming in this country.
Lucy was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was used a breeding machine by a puppy farm before she was rescued. She was not as lucky as Oscar and died last year.
The new law makes the number of fertile female dogs that a breeder can own and register with the local council will be capped at 10. Breeders who meet additional requirements set by the agriculture minister will be able to keep a maximum of 50 fertile female dogs.
Members of DOGS Victoria, the body representing pedigree dog breeders in the state, with 10 or less breeding females will be recognised as recreational breeders and can abide by their Code of Ethics.
It now means that illegal breeders will no longer be able to use pet shops as a means to legalise their trade and sell their puppies. Pet Shops will only be able to sell from approved sources and there will no longer be puppies in pet shop windows.
Oscar's Law founder Debra Tranter told reporters in Melbourne, 'Today's an incredible victory. For the first time anywhere in Australia we've got a cap on the number of dogs that puppy farms are allowed to keep.
'It's the end of the days where we see literally hundreds of dogs lined up in sheds, pumping out puppies for the pet market.'
Online sellers of puppies will have to sign up to a new statewide register. Anyone selling a dog online will have to enrol on the Pet Exchange Register.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said, 'This finishes what we started - ending puppy farming, banning the sale of breeders' puppies and kittens in pet shops, and cracking down on the online sale of dogs and cats.'
RSPCA Victoria chief executive officer Dr Liz Walker said the bill was momentous, 'Illegal operators will no longer be able to slip under the radar because anyone selling or advertising a puppy, kitten, dog or cat for sale will need to get a source number from the Pet Exchange Register, and use it in all advertising,' she said.
The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, posted on social media, 'Yesterday, we banned cruel puppy factories in Victoria. One of the organisations that fought so hard for this decision is called Oscar's Law...Yesterday, all that work reached its culmination.
'We banned cruel puppy farms in Victoria. December 15, 2017 will be known as the day this industry of misery died in our state. It's what we promised and I'm so proud we delivered it. But truth is, it's not our victory. It's really all thanks to Debra and everyone like her. Their work has made our state a better place.
'They shone a light on cruelty. They fought so long for fairness.'