Labor reforms put animal welfare, jobs under threat
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said the Andrews Labor Government’s misguided reforms of the pet breeding sector would actually be worse for animal welfare, send the price of puppies and kittens soaring and punish those breeders who are doing the right thing.
Mr O’Brien said Wellington Shire had the highest number of registered breeders in the state and Gippsland jobs would disappear under Labor’s flawed proposed reforms.
“The government intends to place an arbitrary limit of 10 fertile females on all breeders with an upper limit of 50 by exemption with as yet undetermined conditions that can be approved by the Minister.
“This will drive a number of lawful, ethical Gippsland breeders out of the industry while doing nothing to target those unscrupulous operators breeding puppies in deplorable conditions.
“Both the RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association have given evidence to Parliament that the number of animals kept by an establishment has no bearing on animal welfare.
“What next, limiting dairy farmers to 100 cows? The notion is ridiculous. Animal welfare is determined by the way you treat your animals, not by how many you have.
“I am gravely concerned that this legislation will drive the dodgy operators underground and encourage more backyard operators who don’t have the same practical knowledge or concern for animal welfare as professional and pedigree breeders.”
Mr O’Brien said breeders such Banksia Park Puppies at Stradbroke had been a big focus of the governments’ attention but the Minister had failed to even visit the facility to see it for herself.
“I’ve been to a number of our local breeders’ establishments and am impressed at the facilities and the way their animals are treated. I don’t think we can say the same for the dodgy backyard operators that this legislation will encourage.
“Banksia Park employs around 30 people including some with a disability and those jobs are at threat because of Labor’s ill-advised reforms.
“Even the Minister acknowledges that the additional funding provided by the previous Liberal-Nationals Government to the RSPCA and the revised code of practice for dog and cat breeding was delivering results and weeding out the cruel and illegal puppy farms.
“That system needs to be allowed to work because what Labor now proposes will be bad for animal welfare and will force up the price of pets for ordinary Gippsland families.”
Mr O’Brien said constricted supply and demand for puppies would see prices rise beyond what is affordable for most families.
Caption: The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien says Labor’s misguided reforms of the pet breeding sector will be worse for animal welfare.