PIAA sees little welfare benefit in the Victorian Minister’s revised
proposals to limit the number of breeding dogs and remove the sale of puppies from pet stores.
The key changes announced this week include:
•Pet shops are only able to sell dogs and cats sourced from shelters, pounds or enrolled foster carers
•Pet shops will only be able to sell dogs over six months of age and cats over eight weeks of age.
•Breeders who wish to keep more than 10 fertile female dogs can apply to the Minister for a Commercial Dog Breeder licence.
•Approved Commercial Breeders can be granted approval to have up to 50 fertile female dogs following an audit and•
recommendation by Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer.
•Breeders with over 50 fertile female dogs must reduce numbers to 10 or less (or up to 50, if an Aproved Commercial
Breeder) through not replacing retiring dogs by 10 April 2020.
1. There should be no limit on breeder numbers, the focus should be on standards. Numbers have no bearing on welfare.
2. The proposed commercial dog breeder permit only last 3 years. If a breeder is maintaining standards, why do they need to re-apply every 3 years? With such a short time period there is too much uncertainty which will reduce incentive to invest in infrastructure to provide the best facility possible.
3. Currenty the Bill will come into effect in April 2020. The minister must allow 5 years for implementation from the date this bill takes effect, not the date from when they came into Government. Breeders will need time to rehome their dogs and help staff get new jobs. The Bill states that a breeder cannot also own a pet shop or shelter. If there are to be no puppies in pet shops then it is unclear as to the reasoning for this prohibition.
1. This removes the choice to purchase a pet that is suited to the owner. Not all shelter dogs are suitable for all families.
2. Pet shops are not suitable to house adult dogs (older than 6 months of age). If pet shops aren’t considered suitable to sell puppies, then on what basis are they suitable to sell dogs that require much more exercise/ training/socialisation and space. Staff will need to be retrained to handle older dogs.
3. If online classifieds can advertise puppies as long as they advertise the microchip number and breeder number, then why can’t the same apply to pet stores?
4. With the elimination of pet shops, online sales will increase. This is already an unregulated and risky means of purchasing a puppy.
5. Under these amendments, even if the pet shop doesn’t sell puppies, the pet shop is also unable to advertise or promote an ethical breeder, even if the breeder is the point of purchase.
6. PIAA would like to see the PIAA Companion Animal Centre concept considered as an alternative to shutting down pet stores, or exempt from the puppy and kitten sale restrictions to be imposed on pet shops. The PCAC is a destination centre that is transparent and focused on animal welfare, education, staff training, socialisation of pets, rehoming, desexing and after purchase advice. It is the new face of pet shops and should be allowed to sell puppies and kittens from breeders as well as rescue pets.