Far-reaching pet laws just passed in Western Australia will soon make puppy factories illegal. Legislation also requires that pet stores only offer rescued dogs for adoption and that all dogs, with the exception of registered exceptions, must be neutered or neutered.
The bill, known as the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2020, was first tabled six years ago by Lisa Baker, a Member of Parliament from Western Australia.
“I was horrified to see how puppy mills worked. I faced the total lack of health and wellbeing in these poor, abused dogs. It was all about money, which often operated outside of the formal economy and sent thousands of puppies to pet stores or sold out of the trunk, ”Baker tells Treehugger.
“I knew I had to try to change things after seeing devastating reports of dogs locked in underground bunkers, unable to see daylight or breathe fresh air, and being overbred for this hideous trade.”
Western Australia is a state that encompasses the western third of the country. It is the second largest subdivision of a country in the world.
The new laws contain several key elements:
- Pet stores that sell dogs must instead work with rescue organizations to create adoption centers. This offers more opportunities for dogs to find a home.
- Dogs must be neutered or neutered up to the age of 2 years, unless their owners have applied for and received a breeding exemption. The aim is to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
- People who want to breed their dog must apply for a permit that allows breeders to be tracked down.
- Information on dogs and cats is stored in a central registry.
Healthy, happy puppies
“Puppy breeding is a global problem. Breeding dogs on large farms or mills is a highly profitable business. Because dogs often fall into the farming category, they are not protected from the abuses that factory farming requires to provide adequate food or shelter, let alone medical care, ”said Jennifer Skiff, director of international programs for Animal Wellness Action in Washington, DC and Trustee of the Dogs’ Refuge Home in Western Australia who co-authored the position paper that led to legislation.
“Once laws are in place defining breeding standards and you combine them with a government (not private) registration system, you have the option to disrupt the supply chain for sick and abused dogs,” Skiff told Treehugger.
Add to this the transformation of pet shops – from businesses selling puppies to businesses that operate in conjunction with animal shelters, and you have a system that encourages ethical breeders, drastically reduces the killing of healthy dogs to pounds sterling, and consumers with healthy ones , happy puppies. ”
In the past, breeding has been self-regulated and registered, says Debra Tranter, founder of Oscar’s Law, an anti-puppy farm campaign in Australia.
“If we receive information about puppy factories and initiate an investigation, we find nine out of ten cases that the puppy farm is actually a ‘registered breeder’,” says Tranter zu Treehugger. “So we have proven over the years that self-regulation does not work and a registered breeder is not synonymous with humanity or ethics.”
With the new law, breeders have to register their business and their dogs and apply for a breeding license. This creates responsibility for the health and welfare of your animals and also allows traceability if pets become sick.
“They are no longer self-regulating. If they do not provide medical care for their dogs, the government can find out. If they overbreed, they are breaking the law, ”says Skiff. “In addition, the government can deny breeding permits to people convicted of abuse or neglect of animals. We now have the opportunity to stand in the way of people who exploit dogs out of greed for profit. ”
Remove greyhound muzzles
In addition, the new legislation will repeal existing laws that require retired pet or racing greyhounds to be muzzled in public. Greyhounds must continue to be kept on a leash in public and registered racing greyhounds must continue to be muzzled in public.
“Retired greyhounds are too often attacked and injured, or worse, killed when attacked by other dogs when kept on a leash by their owners. You cannot defend yourself against aggressive dogs. More than 20 greyhounds are said to have been attacked in 2020, ”explains Baker.
“The muzzle gives potential adoptive parents and the public the wrong impression of the greyhound. Grays naturally place a high value on sleeping on a couch rather than exercising and running! Many other breeds have a similar or more prey drive, but never had to wear a muzzle. ”
The law received royal approval this week, which means it has been officially and formally approved. It can take up to a year to fully implement the law, but the clearing of the greyhounds will be immediate.