The Andrews Labor Government has commended the RSPCA and Loddon Shire Council for its work in successfully prosecuting a Pyramid Hill family who operated a cruel and illegal puppy farm housing up to 235 animals.
A Bendigo magistrate yesterday ordered $185,000 in fines under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 be paid for charges brought by the RSPCA plus $20,000 in fines under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 for charges brought by the Loddon Shire Council to three members of the same family for their involvement in the operation.
The RSPCA’s Special Investigation Unit, supported by a $5 million grant from the Andrews Government awarded in May, focuses on identifying and closing illegal breeding establishments and prosecuting rogue operators.
A key Labor Government election commitment, the funding supports RSPCA activities including investigation, data collection and animal seizure, as well as caring for, rehabilitating and rehoming animals seized from illegal breeding establishments.
The Labor Government is moving ahead with its plan to crack down on cruel and illegal puppy farms, with mandatory pre-mating vet checks and a 5 litter limit on female breeding. Work is also underway to amend legislation to restrict the number of female dogs in breeding business to 10 by 2020.
On 1 July 2015, the Labor Government introduced tougher regulations of pet shops, ensuring that detailed records are kept for any dog offered for sale, including where they are sourced from to stamp out illegal breeders.
Amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 introduced to Parliament this month will ensure the Act’s purposes continue to be met and that the investigation of offences and sanctions imposed on offenders are in line with community expectations.
Changes to the Act will also improve the capacity of enforcement agencies to deal with animal welfare offences and to better respond to large scale animal welfare emergencies.
Quotes attributable to the Acting Premier and Acting Minister for Agriculture Jacinta Allan
“The RSPCA and local council are to be commended for their determination in shutting down this illegal and cruel puppy farm.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is working hard to crack down on puppy farms and protect breeding dogs from a lifetime of misery.
“Our plan will smash the puppy farm business model by identifying rogue operators and ensuring that they face harsher consequences.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020