LAST UPDATED: 10 May 2016
Last year, millions of people came face-to-face — on bus shelters, tram stops and during their favourite TV programs — with how they can help solve the puppy factory crisis, thanks to a landmark campaign made possible by Animals Australia supporters. And clearly we're at a flashpoint on the issue, with announcements coming thick and fast from state governments and political parties taking on board community concern — and starting to take action!
Last year's state election result was a win for dogs down south, with Victoria's new government promising to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops — and put tougher restrictions on dog breeding. This progress hasn't stalled, with the recent decision to fast-track other positive reforms setting a forward-looking example for the rest of the country!
Western Australia's Labor Party is also upping the ante against puppy factories, with Labor leader Mark McGowan announcing a plan to implement a centralised registration system, introduce mandatory standards for breeding and turn pet shops into adoption centres! If elected, the Labor party have pledged to end the breeding of dogs in "apalling" conditions and work with rescues to promote adoption of abandoned animals. This would be HUGE for dogs in WA.
The ACT government rapidly followed suit, with puppy and kitten factory farms banned in the territory as of September 2015. New legislation restricts 'intensive' breeding of dogs and cats, and imposes registration and inspection requirements on all breeders. Here's hoping a pet shop ban is next ... that'd really upset the supply chain puppy farmers rely upon.
Responding to public calls for action, the NSW government announced a parliamentary inquiry into the puppy factory trade. The findings of this inquiry include a breeder licensing scheme, which would require that dog breeders be registered, enabling all puppies sold to be traced back to the breeder. The findings have also suggested that council rangers be granted more powers to inspect suspicious puppy factories. While this is step in the right direction, the findings do not stop puppy factories from operating. The NSW government has until January 2016 to respond to the committee's recommendations — so there is still time to speak up. With Victoria and the ACT each introducing strict regulations to help free dogs suffering in puppy factories, NSW's decision to not make a similar commitment is looking increasingly out of line with the outpouring of community support for a ban on puppy factory cruelty. If you're a NSW resident, click here to urge your state MP to stamp out puppy factories!
The SA Premier recently announced a public consultation on changes to laws relating to the 'management' of dogs and cats, and the introduction of a new standards for breeders. The major reforms on the table are compulsory microchipping, compulsory breeder registration and a requirement for breeders to provide their unique registration number in any ad for the sale of a dog or cat, including online sales.
The QLD government have promised a crackdown on illegal puppy factories. In February this year they introduced a bill to implement a compulsory registration plan for breeders. 8,300 Queenslanders responded to the public consultation period, with 95% in support of registration!
While these political steps are really paw-sitive, there's still much to do to create a kinder world for dogs. Tonight, thousands of dogs will still be going to sleep in puppy factories — only to wake up tomorrow to a life of deprivation, confinement, and cruelty. You are their hope. The single greatest threat to puppy farmers' cruel business model is knowledge. With your support, we can make sure that more and more people know that caring about your dog also means caring where they came from: