CAMPAIGN UPDATE: On October 31, 2004 an ALV open rescue
team consisting of over 50 rescuers conducted
a massive daytime raid on one of Australia's largest
puppy farms. The raid uncovered horrific cruelty
on the farm and resulted in widespread media coverage
bringing attention to the plight of the animals
on the puppy farm (including top stories on channels
7 and 9 and a feature in the Herald-Sun). A full
report will be available here shortly but in the
meantime please read our official
complaint and view our photos of the raid and rescue.
On April 6, 2004 ALV’s
open rescue team raided one of Australia’s
largest puppy farms. The Ballarat puppy farm has
been the subject of over twenty raids by ALV in
the last ten years and our investigation team
has uncovered appalling cruelty during each visit.
Debra Tranter, ALV’s puppy farm campaigner
reports: "The dogs are filthy. They are kept
in dirty pens and never bathed or groomed. Their
fur forms huge matting, which can be quite painful.
My hands were black from patting them. It's years
of build up of dirt and grime. They are very,
very frightened dogs. They are never brought into
a home or put on a lead. In the middle of winter,
it gets below zero and they sleep on a concrete
floor with no bedding.”
The most recent raid received widespread media
coverage including a double page feature in Sydney’s
“Sunday Telegraph”. ALV have issued
a complaint to the local council about the conditions
of the breeding dogs. Read ALV’s correspondence with the
City of Ballarat.
What you can do:
Make sure you tell all your friends about the
cruelty behind that 'cute little puppy' in the
pet shop window. Visit an animal shelter instead
and save a life.
Make a complaint about the puppy farm situated
at Eastern Peake Road, Learmonth
by writing or in person.
Write or e-mail Ballarat council and ask them
to revoke Eurovisions puppy farm permit, noting
that they have violated planning permit for over
10 years. Remind them that over 100 dogs a day
are killed in pounds and we don’t need to
Mayor David Vendy, Ballarat City Council, PO
Box 655, Ballarat, Victoria, 3353
If you want to get more actively involved in the campaign or have any information about puppy farms please contact ALV on 0417 396 236 or email@example.com
Animal liberation Victoria is the only group
in Australia actively exposing and campaigning
against puppy farms. In Australia we kill over
100 healthy dogs a day. The problem is that we
have too many dogs and too few homes available.
The solution society has opted for is to kill
the extras, to kill “mans best friend”.
Puppy farms are a major contributor to the overpopulation
crisis. An assembly line business where
thousands of dogs are confined and treated like
breeding machines pumping out puppies for the
pet shop industry.
In 1994 ALV’s puppy farm campaigner Debra
Tranter received information that a Liberal politician
was breeding hundreds of puppies on a property
in Ballarat to supply his pet shop and the Asian
market. After three months of searching bushland
in Ballarat Debra found the puppy farm and immediately
organised a team of three activists to enter the
property in the cover of darkness and film the
conditions. What the rescue team witnessed that
night was horrific and the campaign against puppy
farms was launched.
The team spent four hours on the property that
night. They later found out from Ballarat council
that there were over 1000 dogs kept there even
though the permit only allowed for 540. The dogs
had no bedding or kennels. Some of the dogs were
sleeping in 44 gallon drums tipped on their side.
The dogs were a pitiful sight. Their long coats
were matted and caked in mud, their spirits were
broken from years of confinement and repeated
The next day the video was given to the RSPCA
who informed ALV that they had been refused entry
to the property 22 times. Over the next few months
a number of ALV under cover inspections were carried
out at the property and the media coverage was
intense. The fact that a Liberal politician/vet
(Dr. Ron Wells) was keeping dogs in appalling
conditions was big news. The story was reported
around Australia and media coverage lasted months.
Due to the media coverage ALV started to receive
information about more puppy farms and inspections
at Ballarat and other properties are continuing
August 2003 - On a cold and stormy
night the ALV Rescue Team investigated the conditions
at the Learmonth Puppy Farm. Previous visits to
this puppy breeding factory uncovered appalling
The puppy farm confines up to 378 dogs, including
Terriers, Spaniels, Pugs, Golden Retrievers, Maltese
and many more breeds. The dogs kept on the property
are used to breed puppies, which are then sold
in pet shops.
The conditions on the farm were far from ideal.
On the night of the investigation the temperature
was close to zero degrees and the dogs were sleeping
on the hard floors of their small kennels, without
any bedding or blankets for warmth. The dogs are
fed only dry food, which is scooped out of a wheelbarrow
into the pens. Adjacent to the enclosures, there
is a large heap of animal waste, which is rather
like an open sewer, an obvious environmental hazard.
The ALV rescue team gathered video and photographic
footage of the frightened, un-socialised animals
and their living conditions, and rescued one of
the cold and frightened dogs who is now living
in a warm and loving home. The ALV investigation
September 1997 – Photographs
are taken of dead dogs who had been tossed into
manure pits. This is reported to council and the
E.P.A. Ron Wells announces he is resigning from
his pet shop, veterinary practice and puppy farm
stating “I will no longer touch a dog”.
August 1997 – after intense
campaigning and media coverage ALV are successful
in shutting down part of the puppy farm. Dr Wells
is ordered to reduce the number of dogs on the
farm to 348, employ an extra two full time staff
and to spend money building housing for the dogs
to comply with the code.
January – February 1997 –
97 puppies die on farm due to inadequate
housing during hot weather.
– Rob Hulls attacks Premier Jeff Kennett
over his support for Dr Wells and insists he stand
down as patron of RSPCA.
– Debra reports to council the presence
of labradors on the property which is a breed
excluded on the permit.
– Dr Wells in a Herald Sun article pleads
for “animal activists to leave him alone”,
claiming he was being victimised and it was hurting
his political career.
1996 – Debra exposes Dr.
Wells had been using Victorian Tax payers money
to further his own business interests by way of
1996 – Debra contacts Rob
Hulls Shadow Attorney General and they work together
for a number of months and expose years of Dr
Wells puppy farm violating permit conditions and
failing to co-operate with council instructions.
June 1996 – Ron Wells after
months of intense media pressure requests meeting
with Debra Tranter at Parliament House. Meeting
resolves nothing Debra continues with her campaign.
Dr Wells solicitors institute proceedings in the
county court against Debra Tranter claiming damages
for libel. Debra is given 7 days to publish a
full retraction and apology, make an offer of
damages and agree to meet Dr Wells legal costs.
Debra refuses to comply with their demands and
no further action is taken
May 1996 – ALV attend council
meeting to object to Dr Wells proposal that his
permit be amended to be allowed to keep 650 dogs
and asked that any animal under 18 months not
be included in this figure. Council refused to
grant extension of permit.
April 1996 –The Age newspaper
write two page article on Ballarat puppy farm.
“new” allegations were made that dogs
owned by Dr Wells died from starvation and disease
at the former knackery in Ballarat, where Dr Mike
Sheedy, a vet who was an employee of Dr Wells
at the time said he found animals starving.
1995 – First inspection
of Ballarat puppy farm attracts widespread national
a typical kennel area at the puppy breeding factory.
All kennels are supposed to be dry with bedding
material. April 2004
a timid dirty dog without bedding in her dismal
kennel. August 2003
another totally dispirited dog without bedding
in her rusty kennel. April 2004
Debra reaches in to give aid to a very ill cocker
spaniel shivering in her wet and leaking kennel.
Debra gives comfort and loving kindness to some
of the 378 dogs confined at the breeding mill.
Noah and Debra help save a breeding mum from further
pregnancies/stress/confinement and disease. August
Patty gives this very special rescued dog a warm
bath before she went to her new loving home. The
dog was caked in filth and the odor so bad people
looked away when near her. She was also unsocialised
and had an ear infection. August 2003