The state government is a step closer to stamping out puppy farms and risky dog breeding with the RSPCA giving the tick of approval to proposed changes outlined in a consultation paper released today.
Since taking the issue to the last election the McGowan government has allocated $250,000 to the consultation progress, with the government hoping to start implementing the laws by early next year.
The consultation paper, which is open for public feedback, outlines the proposed changes to mandatory de-sexing and breeding standards, a centralised registration system and transitioning pet shops into adoption centres.
RSPCA president and chair Lynne Bradshaw welcomed the proposed changes saying the association is 100-per-cent behind them.
“It’s great to see something going out to public consultation at last,” Ms Bradshaw says.
“For me, the fact that we’re really pushing adoption now through pet shops is really important.”
Local Government minister David Templeman says the safety of dogs is a high priority and an important election promise.
“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that puppy farming is not a practice in Western Australia,” Mr Templeman says.
“We want to make sure that we have a very strong piece of legislation that will come from this consultation process and will protect those wonderful canines.
“We want to make sure that there are some very clear parameters in regards to breeding and clear parameters in regards to the selling of dogs and we want to make sure that as a part of this process that pet shops become adoption centres.”
The minister also encouraged the community, industry and local councils to provide feedback to the proposals.
“I really encourage everyone to take a very deep interest in the consultation papers and [consultation] period,” Mr Templeman says.
“Let us have your opinions and your views and have your say so we can build the very best piece legislation.”
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker is leading the group working to implement the options and she says the time has come to put an end to inhuman practices.
“We need to make sure that the creatures that are being sold out of pet shops come from centres whose job it is to rescue abandoned or homeless puppies and we can do that with this legislation,” Ms Baker says.
A long time campaigner for animal welfare, Ms Baker says the proposed changes won’t take away people’s ability to breed dogs but regulate how they do so.
“You can breed dogs, but you have to register to do that,” Ms Baker says.
“You will also have to comply with a new set of standards around that…such as how many bitches you can use.”
The consultation paper is open for public comment until August 3.