More Australian homes have much loved canine family members than in any other country around the world. Their ability to provide unconditional love and to enrich our lives in so many ways is well established — which is why we are inevitably shocked and appalled when we witness dogs treated cruelly.
As revealed on Today Tonight, Animals Australia was recently provided with evidence filmed at the premises of one of Australia's 'top' Collie breeders — Calstead Collies in Victoria. After viewing the footage, such was our concern for these dogs, that Animals Australia immediately contacted the RSPCA.
Information and evidence provided, revealed that not only were the dogs not being exercised, many were being denied free access to water and bedding. The worst were being kept in what can only be described as 'upright tombs' — severely confined in individual pens with no access to fresh air or sunlight for long periods of time. Tragically some dogs were exhibiting stereotypical behaviour such as constant circling; indicating long term stress and anxiety.
The RSPCA, accompanied by Casey Council Inspectors, attended the premises and issued several corrective actions. Ten days later, despite follow up visits from both agencies, further evidence provided to Animals Australia revealed some dogs again confined in appalling conditions and still without free access to water. Casey Council and the RSPCA were again notified with inspectors returning to the premises a number of times to ensure this situation was rectified. Photos posted by Calstead Collies since reveal that the facility has now been cleaned and new water containers were sighted in pens — however concerns remain regarding dogs not being exercised and their overall quality of life.
Calstead Collies is a 25 year member of Dogs Victoria. Dogs Victoria members agree to adhere to a code of practice that among other things, states that dogs should be well housed, fed, given access to water and exercised. Further, Dogs Victoria receives an exemption from the state government so its members with fewer than 10 breeding dogs do not have to register as a domestic animal business or adhere to the code of practice for the rearing and breeding of animals. This is despite the fact that Dogs Victoria doesn't inspect or audit the facilities of its members.
An assessment of the evidence provided from Calstead Collies reveals clear breaches of Dogs Victoria's Code of Practice – for which members can face suspension.
Please urge Dogs Victoria to suspend Calstead Collies' membership and send a strong message to their other members that they will not tolerate cruelty in their ranks.