Call to report breeders operating illegally

By Country News

Greater Shepparton City Council is urging the community to report dog and cat breeders to the council as it continues to crack down on illegally operating breeders within the municipality.

Council requires all pet breeders to ensure they comply with the Domestic Animals Act 1994 after the successful prosecution of a Tatura man in Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, December 10.

Council and the RSPCA conducted the joint investigation into a Tatura dog and cat breeder operating an illegal puppy farm during the past two years, with two properties having more than 50 dogs and 20 cats.

The man was subsequently charged with offences including operating an unregistered breeding business and animal cruelty. The man pleaded guilty in Shepparton Magistrates’ Court to conducting a domestic animal business on an unregistered premise, and failing to register the large number of dogs and cats with council.

The accused also pleaded guilty to two RSPCA Victoria charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for failing to provide veterinary treatment for a sick or injured animal. As a result, the accused will not be able to operate a domestic animal business in Victoria for the next 10 years.

Following the recent changes to the Domestic Animals Act 1994, Greater Shepparton City Council is committed to reforming the pet breeding and pet shop industries in the region, to better regulate the sale of dogs and cats and to put animal welfare first.

The council’s citizens’ services manager Laurienne Winbanks said the prosecution demonstrated the council’s commitment to protecting the welfare of animals and ensuring compliance with the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

‘‘Council works together with local and state authorities including the RSPCA to monitor domestic animal businesses, and any illegally operating puppy farms and cat breeders will be investigated,’’ Ms Winbanks said.

‘‘We strongly encourage the community to report to council or the RSPCA any property in Greater Shepparton that may be breeding dogs or cats or where the welfare of the animals is a concern.’’

RSPCA Victoria inspectorate team leader Lisa Calleja said it was a promising outcome.

‘‘We’re happy with this result, because it sends a clear message to the community that anyone wanting to operate a domestic animal business must do so in accordance with the law and ensure the welfare of their animals, which includes the provision of veterinary treatment to any that are sick or injured,’’ she said.