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New laws for mongrels who operate puppy farms.

Kylie Tatti - Monday, February 23, 2015

New laws for mongrels who operate puppy farms. Fantastic news for everyone who is behind strict new laws for people who breed dogs for money in terrible conditions.

Puppy farms and intensive breeding of domestic animals will be banned under new legislation to be introduced to the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. 

The new protections for animals forced to breed for the pet market is designed to stop abuses similar to those seen in New South Wales and Victoria in recent years and follows ACT laws enacted in October 2013 which established fines of as much as $11,000 for breaches of a code of practice. 

Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said his bill was the second element of animal protections included in the governance agreement he signed with Labor to form government after the 2012 election. 

Mr Rattenbury said intensive pet breeding operations saw dogs and cats treated as “money-making machines, placing the operator’s profit above their animal’s health and welfare.”

“Life for a female dog or cat in an intensive breeding facility is unimaginable. Animals are often permanently housed in empty pens, deprived of social interaction, exercise and responsible health care for their entire lives.

In an effort to increase profits for the operators, female dogs and cats are continually impregnated and bred as often as possible, sometimes every time that they go into heat.” 

The intensive breeding of female dogs and cats will become a criminal offence in the territory with tough new penalties for anyone convicted of exploiting animals for the pet market. 

New offences, including recklessly allowing a dog or cat to breed contrary to declared standards including on frequency, are expected to be declared following advice from an expert committee. 

Mr Rattenbury said a higher offence of intentionally allowing breeding for profit or commercial gain against standards will be created. A code of practice on the breeding and selling of dogs or cats with hereditary defects will also be declared.

A new licensing scheme for dog and cat breeders will established 

“The scheme has been through extensive industry consultation to ensure that it is simple and resource-effective for breeders,” Mr Rattenbury said. 

The proposed law has the backing of the ACT RSPCA and campaigners involved in the anti-puppy farm movement Oscar’s Law. Campaigners have sought political action on intensive breeding of dogs and cats in a number of Australian jurisdictions. 

Oscar’s Law campaign founder Debra Tranter welcomed the moves. 

“It’s a great step forward for the ACT. The tougher legislation in Victoria means a lot of puppy farms are looking to relocate which is why its so good the ACT has been quick off the mark in introducing this before parliament,” she said. 

“Any new legislation is keeping the spotlight on this issue, keeping the pressure on puppy farms and making a difference.” 

After campaigning since 1993,  Ms Tranter said Australian jurisdictions were moving more quickly. She is currently lobbying the New South Wales government to ban puppy and kitten farming. 

The ACT’s first enforceable Animal Sales Code came into force in late 2013, applying to pet shops, breeders and anyone selling animals as pets. 

The code requires hygienic accommodation to meet the needs of animals and can be enforced by RSPCA officers, police and TAMS officials. Assembly to consider new ban on puppy farms and intensive animal breeding

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