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Coalition urges tougher controls on puppy exports

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Victorian Coalition Government is calling on the Gillard Government to introduce tougher controls on the sale of puppies for export.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said he had written to his Federal counterpart Joe Ludwig asking him to investigate the practice.

"The sale of unregistered puppies overseas is a lucrative business with thousands exported each year to countries including Singapore, China, and the United States," Mr Walsh said.

"Last year there were 9303 dogs exported from Australia, 2910 in consignments of four or more.

"Unlike livestock, there are no minimum standards for the export of puppies.

"Although each dog must be inspected by a veterinarian, requirements for the export of dogs and puppies are instead set by the importing country.

"Consistent Australian standards need to be introduced so puppies are microchipped and are of a minimum age and weight before they leave the country.

The move comes as the Victorian Coalition Government introduces legislation into the Victorian Parliament today to crackdown on rogue puppy farm operators.

"We are changing the legislation to enforce higher animal welfare standards but the Gillard Government needs to do its bit to cut the supply chain for animals bred in illegal puppy farms," Mr Walsh said.

"The legislation we are introducing today includes stronger legislative penalties and gives the state the power to seize the proceeds of illegal puppy farm operations.

"We have also given RSPCA animal inspectors greater powers so they can enter puppy farm premises and inspect animals to ensure breeders are complying with the law.

"We are sending a very clear message that we will not tolerate establishments which breach animal welfare standards," Mr Walsh said.

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