Jade Norris - Legislation to Prohibit Puppy Farming

Puppy Farms
Legislative progress
Jade Norris, Scientific Officer
RSPCA Australia
Puppy Farms
• Major RSPCA campaign to end puppy farming
since end of 2009
• For a number of years prior to this RSPCA
Inspectorates have had direct experience
rescuing animals from puppy farms.
• Run through legislative progress since 2009
Puppy farm definition
• A puppy farm (puppy factory/puppy mill)
is an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated
under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the
dogs' behavioural, social and/or physiological
• Usually large-scale commercial operations, but
inadequate conditions may also exist in small volume
breeding establishments which may or may not be
run for profit.
Puppy Farms
Puppy Farms
Puppy Farms
Puppy farms
Puppy Farms
Puppy farms
• In Australia current regulations for the breeding and
sale of dogs are inadequate
• Various gaps exist (see National Regulation tables).
Regulation of breeding
Regulation of sale
Regulation of sale cont’d
• Since start of puppy farm
some legislative progress
• However, more work is urgently needed
within individual states/territories
• National co-ordination to allow breeder
traceability across state borders
• Export requirements
The Good news
AWAC planning Code for the
breeding of dogs
1st July 2011 Mandatory to microchip dogs
from 6 months of age
 Domestic Animals Act reviewed
 New government advised they
are committed to legislative change for the Spring
 Increased powers to RSPCA Inspectorate to enforce the
Domestic Animals Act, previously only enforceable by
local government officers
 When a cruelty complaint is investigated and breaches
of the Domestic Animals Act are evident, RSPCA
Inspectors now have the power to act outside of
South Australia
COP for the Care and Management
of Animals in the Pet Trade reviewed
Public consultation phase
Awaiting final draft of Code to be released by
SA government
No changes apart from;
• a number of councils have made microchipping
mandatory for dogs over 6 months of age
• There is no Domestic Animals Act in the NT there
are local by-laws.
 Government announced Breeder ID system
Scheme includes:
• Breeder ID
• compulsory microchipping of breeding bitch
• breeder ID no’s to be displayed at points of sale and in
• ID of breeding bitch part of the microchip information on
all her puppies
• development of Dog Breeder Standards under Animal Care
and Protection Act 2001
 Gold Coast Breeder Permit System (which Joy Verrinder just
gave an update on).
 No regulatory changes
 Discussion paper
"The Breeding and Sale of Companion Animals in the ACT“
September 2010
• Enforceable COP under Animal Welfare Act 1992
• Recent changes to Animal Welfare Act 1992 allow
inclusion of mandatory enforceable components in
• Awaiting release by ACT government
 Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Animals in Pet Shops
 Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding Dogs and Cats
 Both enable enforcement of standards
 Difficulty - with no central register of breeders, RSPCA may
not know where all breeding facilities are
 May not be sure animals kept in accordance with breeding
 Central register of breeders, breeder prefix and microchip number
to be included in any advertisement and at sale or transfer
No changes
Benefit from:
– Compulsory microchipping
– Kennel licence but no standards for
breeding dogs
Australian National Kennel Council
 Microchipping compulsory for all registered pedigree dogs before
registration of pup - nationally 1st January 2012
 Great step forward
• enables positive ID pedigree dogs
• drive compulsory microchipping for all puppies
• breeder traceability
Key points
• Regulations for breeding and sale
• Greater resources for monitoring
and enforcement
 enforcement model, co-regulatory approach
 animal welfare inspectors (RSPCA or govt depts) and
local govt animal management officers
 Qld scheme, breeder code adopted under ACPA,
registration under Animal Management (Dogs and Cats)
• National inconsistency – variations between
Key points 2
• Lack of National co-ordination
 breeder traceability across state borders
• Compulsory microchipping by breeder
prior to sale or transfer with nationally
co-ordinated microchip database
• Breeder registration/identification - breeder ID no. at
any sale or transfer and in any advertisement
• National approach essential but state-based
initiatives are also essential
• Export requirements not sufficient
to protect welfare
• Importing country sets requirements
• Regulations/enforcement need to be
• We need to know
 where dogs have come from i.e. breeder and
exporter identified, pups microchipped
 where animals are going
Smart Puppy Buyer Guide
• Holistic approach
 regulatory reform
 public awareness, education
End Puppy Farming – The Way Forward
• RSPCA will continue to
communicate key principles
in Way Forward to key stakeholders
 industry, breeders, governments
policy makers at every available
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