Published 4 October 2014
UPDATE:The election of the Labor government on November 29 ensures, if Labor keeps their world, that pet stores will no longer be able to sell dogs and cats from puppy farms and only allow the adoption of dogs and cats linked with registered animal shelters.
In May, Labor announced it would spend $5 million to boost RSPCA inspections of breeding facilities and to stop dogs being kept in terrible conditions.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews told the ABC it was now planning on going a step further.
“By 2020, the maximum number of breeding dogs in any business will be 10 dogs. This effectively puts this squalid industry out of business,” Mr Andrews said.
“The worst operators with 200, 300 dogs in terrible conditions, where no one could say their welfare was being safeguarded, cruel conditions that offend almost every Victorian, those sorts of businesses will be put out of business.
He said the Napthine Government had failed to live up to its promise to stop animal cruelty in Victoria.
“You’d think as a vet (Denis Napthine) would be able to deliver on those promises.
“He has failed to do that. In fact, he’s sided with puppy farm owners instead of putting the welfare of these animals first.”
But Dr Napthine said the Coalition had taken the strongest stand against puppy farms in the world.
“I, as a veterinarian, am absolutely appalled by the treatment of dogs in these illegal puppy farms and we have taken the strongest action possible,” Dr Napthine said.
“We have the toughest laws, the largest penalties and we have the strictest enforcement.
Mr Andrews has also promised to amend the code of practice for breeders to ensure dogs are restricted to five litters.
Earlier this year the Victorian Government changed the breeding code of practice to allow dogs to continue to breed if the owner had veterinary approval, despite the RSPCA wanting them to be limited to five.
Mr Andrews said Labor would also change the rules so pet shops could only sell dogs and cats linked with registered animal shelters.
“There are 200,000 puppies, dogs and kittens that are put down every year,” he said.
“We need to make sure our pet shops are doing the right thing and upholding the highest standards.
In August the Government introduced legislation into Parliament to ban people convicted of animal cruelty from owning, managing or registering cat or puppy farms in Victoria.
About 400 animal lovers earlier rallied on the steps of Victorian Parliament to call for an end to jumps racing, puppy farms and duck shooting.
Debra Tainter, the founder of animal welfare group Oscar’s Law, said the community wanted puppy factories banned.
“(Agriculture Minister) Peter Walsh has promised to crackdown on illegal puppy farms and toughen the code of practice and has failed on both accounts,” Ms Tainter said.
“We’re here today to send a clear message to all Victorian political candidates we want puppy factories shut down, we don’t want them regulated.”
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