Strengthening Animal Welfare And Protecting Our Pets

30 May 2017

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with ensuring dog and cat breeders in Victoria meet community expectations, with the renewal this week of the Applicable Organisation (AO) status of five organisations for the next two years.

Applicable Organisations had to demonstrate sufficient improvement to their own codes of practice to have their status renewed and continue to enjoy the benefits that this special category brings for member breeders. As at 30 April, the four cat breeder organisations and DOGS Victoria had demonstrated some, but not enough improvement.

Renewal was provided for a further two months to allow time for the Government to work with them to ensure their respective codes were in line with the Victorian Government’s breeding code.

DOGS Victoria, the Australian National Cats Inc, Cats Victoria Inc, Governing Council of the Cat Fancy Victoria Inc and Feline Control Council Victoria Inc. have worked with the Labor Government to ensure that their codes of ethics and practices have been improved for the welfare, keeping, breeding and management of dogs and cats.

All Applicable Organisations have now demonstrated that their members are operating at a standard acceptable to the Government and in line with the expectations of the Victorian community.

Any members who fail to comply with welfare and management standards must undergo a disciplinary hearing and face expulsion from their clubs.

DOGS Victoria has also boosted its staff of compliance officers and will suspend any member who doesn’t allow a compliance officer to inspect their premises. Since tougher regulations were implemented, 15 DOGS Victoria members have been suspended and two expelled.

In return for meeting higher standards, Applicable Organisation members get a discount on pet registration and exemption from mandatory de-sexing.

The Labor Government continues to consult on legislation that will crack down on puppy farms. The Government expects to introduce amendments to its Bill following the winter recess.

We’ve already delivered much of our promised crack down on puppy farming, including pre-mating vet checks, reinforcing the five litter limit for a female breeding dog, and $5 million to create the RSPCA’s Special Investigation Unit – which is currently investigating more than 44 properties.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

"Our government is working with Victoria’s leading pet breeding organisations to make sure any kitten or puppy sold in Victoria has come from a responsible breeder."

"When Victorians take home a puppy or kitten, they should know their new family member has been reared by a breeder that values its welfare."

"Each of these organisations has been working hard to ensure their members are meeting community expectations and I commend them for their efforts."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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