An attempt to crack down on puppy farms has received resistance from the dog breeding community, with one industry body claiming it had not been consulted and its calls to the Victorian Government had gone unanswered.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford has renewed the fight against puppy farms and will work to rewrite the bill that previously went before parliament last year.
The bill initially planned to implement a 10-dog breeding limit, which was met with criticism from the industry.
A recent Legislative Council report into the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 was tabled in parliament last week and made it clear the bill would be unlikely to pass through parliament in its current state and that initial consultation with the industry was ‘‘inadequate’’.
The government said it would reassess the legislation to enable it to deliver on its election commitments.
However, Pet Industry Association of Australia said it was ‘‘extremely disappointed’’ with the proposed changes to the Puppy Farm and Pet Shops Bill, which it said it had not been consulted about.
‘‘The Pet Industry Association of Australia has incredibly high standards for our breeding members, with stringent audits annually,’’ chief executive officer Mark Fraser said.
‘‘Despite our attempts of contact and being the peak industry body for pets in Australia we have not been consulted to date in the redrafting of the bill.’’
Mr Fraser said parliamentary inquiries had cautioned against instituting a limit of 10 breeding dogs, which there is ‘‘no animal welfare evidence’’ to support and would potentially make the puppy farm problem ‘‘worse, not better’’.
He said he would welcome the opportunity to consult with the government regarding changes to the bill.
Ms Pulford has renewed the status of five organisations in the past two weeks, including Dogs Victoria and Cats Victoria Inc, who have revamped their own codes of ethics and practices to be in line with the new government guidelines surrounding welfare, keeping, breeding and management of cats and dogs.
‘‘We went to the last election promising to improve the way pets are bred and sold in this state, and we have been making good on that promise,’’ Ms Pulford said.
‘‘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.’’
The amendments to the bill are expected to be introduced following parliament’s winter recess and will address issues raised during the inquiry into the initial 2016 bill.