THE Animal Welfare League has welcomed the Queensland Government’s move towards puppy protection, but says there’s still plenty more that still needs to be done.
New breeder registration laws came into effect today which require all dog breeders in Queensland to register and obtain a breeder supply number before they breed, or within 28 days of pups being born.
The supply number has to be included in any advertising, recorded in the dog’s microchip information and given to a person who receives the dog.
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“This is only the first step in the prevention of poor breeding practices,” AWLQ Strategic Director Dr Joy Verrinder said. “Consumers will be encouraged to only buy from dog breeders with a breeder supply number.
“Breeders without a supply number will be breaking the law and can be penalised, provided they can be tracked.”
“However, unfortunately, a breeder ID does not mean that the breeder has been inspected and met good welfare standards.
“We hope the government will go further and require all breeders to have an independent inspection based on a Breeder Code of Practice with high standards of care and rehoming for the parent animals, pups and kittens before breeders are issued with a permit number.
“As well, there need to be follow-up inspections at regular intervals to ensure standards are being maintained,” Dr Verrinder said.
Such model legislation has already been developed and introduced in 2010 as a pilot project for the Qld Government by AWLQ and City of Gold Coast Council after a two-year consultation with both cat and dog breeders, the pet industry, and other animal welfare groups.
“Breeders pay for the cost of inspections, just as a builder is required to pay for a licence to operate,” Dr Verrinder said.
“It benefits responsible breeders as they can show that they are following appropriate standards and avoid being associated with those who do the wrong thing by animals.”
Dr Verrinder says cats miss out in this legislation and need the same level of protection as dogs.
“On the Gold Coast, breeder permit by-laws also require kittens to be desexed prior to sale or transfer.”
“We would like to see this extend across the state and be legislated nationally.
“If this was to happen we would see a dramatic reduction in the number of cats being euthanized in Australian pounds and shelters.”
AWLQ, which has rehomed more than 120,000 animals since it first opened its doors on the Gold Coast in 1959, urges people to look to adopt a pet from an animal shelter first.
“A great diversity of breeds, small and large, come through our doors. “You’ll be giving an animal a second chance at life,” Dr Verrinder said.