Puppy farming is considered to be a major animal welfare issue in Australia. The RSPCA has dedicated considerable time and resources to investigating and developing strategies, in conjunction with key stakeholders, for how this practice may be brought to an end. These strategies are outlined in the RSPCA paper End Puppy Farming – The Way Forward (see link below). A number of the strategies proposed in this paper require legislative action on behalf of state and territory governments. Animal management and animal welfare laws must be amended to create a regulatory regime that will enable prospective puppy buyers to ensure they will not be supporting the operation of puppy farms, and allow relevant authorities to detect puppy farms and to respond accordingly.
RSPCA Australia has identified six key legislative elements required to achieve this objective.
|1. Registration of dog breeders.||Animal management legislation|
|2. Compulsory microchipping of all dogs before 12 weeks of age and prior to sale or transfer.||Animal management legislation|
|3. Microchip information recorded must include microchip ID number of dog's mother and breeder registration number.||Animal management legislation|
|4. Breeder registration number must be displayed at the point of sale and in advertisements.||Animal management legislation|
|5. Mandatory standards for the conduct of dog breeding.||Animal welfare and management legislation|
|6. Power for courts to make interim ownership costs and prohibition orders while legal proceedings are on foot.||Animal welfare and management legislation|
These elements are outlined in further detail in the RSPCA’s paper Legislating to End Puppy Farming – The Way Forward (below). This paper also provides a useful table which summarises the current state of relevant animal management and welfare laws in each state and territory.
Some state and territory governments are already well on the way to achieving many of these legislative reforms. Others are yet to act. Because the markets for puppies deriving from puppy farms extends beyond state boundaries, it is very important that all state and territory governments enact consistent legislation to avoid the creation of regulatory “black holes”, which may undermine national efforts to address puppy farming.
If you would like to help end the practice of puppy farming, please write to your local state parliamentary representative, and your state minister responsible for animal welfare, and ask whether your state has the laws necessary to see the end of this unethical practice.