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AWLQ welcomes first efforts to bring puppy farms to heel and urges further action

Stray dogs

Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) has welcomed Queensland Government moves towards puppy protection with new dog breeder registration laws passed in Parliament.

“This is the first step in the prevention of puppy farming,” AWLQ Strategic Development Officer Joy Verrinder said.

“Consumers will now be encouraged to only buy from breeders with a breeder ID.

“Breeders without an ID number will be breaking the law and can be closed down; provided they can be tracked.”

AWLQ, which has rehomed more than 100,000 animals since it first opened its doors on the Gold Coast in 1959, urges people to look to adopting a shelter animal.

“You’ll be giving an animal a second chance at life,” Ms Verrinder said.

“A great diversity of breeds, small and large, come through our doors.

“The dogs and cats’ owners may have passed away, relocated, or been placed in a home – it is totally out of the animals’ control.”

The new breeder law requires all dog breeders in Queensland to register and obtain an identification (ID) number before they breed, or within 28 days of pups being born.

A puppy now won’t be able to be sold, given away or advertised in Queensland unless it had a breeder ID number, a breeder organisation’s accreditation number, a unique interstate reference number, or an exception number.

The relevant details will also have to be included in any advertising, recorded in the dog’s microchip information and given to a person who receives the dog.

Consumers will be able to check that breeder ID numbers are legitimate on a Queensland Government database.

BHC_5082AWLQ welcomes the move, but would like to see it go further.

“A breeder ID doesn’t guarantee that the breeding animals are being kept in good conditions, are well socialised and not over-breeding,” Ms Verrinder said.

“The bill should also include a breeding facility inspection by an independent authority and be based on legislated standards.

“Breeders should pay for the cost of the initial inspection, and follow-up random inspections, just as a builder is required to pay for a licence to operate.”

Ms Verrinder says cats also miss out in this legislation and need the same level of protection as dogs.

“On the Gold Coast, breeder permit by-laws require kittens to be desexed prior to sale or transfer,” Ms Verrinder said.

“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 euthanised in Australian pounds and shelters.”

AWLQ is also concerned that there needs to be consistency across all breeding platforms with primary producers who breed working dogs to supply other primary producers also included in the legislation.

The companion animal rehoming charity, which rehomed more than 9,600 animals last year, has worked independently with dog and cat breeders, the City of Gold Coast and other stakeholders to develop a model Breeder Permit system.

For more information on the Gold Coast City breeder permit system goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/breederfactsheet.pdf

Choose to adopt and save a life. AWLQ has five rehoming centres across South East Queensland – awlqld.com.au/adopt-a-pet