The Andrews Labor Government is putting animal welfare first by ending industrial scale breeding of cats and dogs, with legislation set to be introduced into Victorian Parliament today.
Victoria’s Domestic Animals Act will be overhauled to protect the welfare of breeding cats and dogs and give consumers certainty that their puppies and kittens have come from good homes.
The Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 will reform Victoria’s breeding and pet shop industries, delivering on Labor’s election promise.
The proposed amendments will reduce the number of fertile female dogs a breeder can keep from as many as 350 to 10. Breeders will have until April 2020 to reduce their numbers by naturally breeding out their dogs.
To crack down on backyard breeders, any Victorian who keeps a fertile female dog and sells her puppies, or who keeps three or more fertile female cats and sells their kittens, will have to register with their council as a domestic animal business.
The Government will also establish a new central registry of domestic animal businesses, giving councils the information they need to determine who is eligible to register as a breeder and better police the new laws.
Pet shops will no longer be able to sell puppies and kittens unless they have come from a registered pound, animal shelters or foster carer. This is consistent with the practice of many pet stores operating in Victoria and will close off a lucrative market for puppy farmers.
Foster carers who look after relinquished pets while they wait for a new home will have clearer rights and responsibilities – they will be able to care for up to five animals at a time without having to register as a domestic animal business and will benefit from reduced council registration fees.
Thanks to the Labor Government, there will be fewer homeless pets and more Victorians safe in the knowledge that their new dog or cat has been bred responsibly.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“We promised Victorians we would crack down on cruel and illegal puppy farms, and this delivers on that promise.”
“Victorians love their pets, and we all want to know our furry family members have come from safe and caring homes, not from illegal and cruel puppy farms.”
“This is the type of legislation Victorians who care about their animals have been calling for. Only the Andrews Labor Government will bring Victorians who need a pet and pets who need a home together.”