Statement On Puppy Farms

Today, the Legislative Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee tabled its report on the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016.

It is clear from this report that the Bill is unlikely to pass the Parliament in its current form.

We remain determined to stamp out puppy farms, and we’re not prepared to back the Liberal-National Coalition’s moves to keep puppy farming in Victoria.

I intend to reassess this legislation to enable our election commitments to be delivered.

Amendments to this effect will be developed in the new year, in consultation with stakeholders, and considered by the Parliament in the first half of 2017.

Given the strong mandate from the Victorian community to put an end to puppy farming, the Labor Government expects that the amended Bill would receive support from all parties.

Other animal welfare and enforcement issues that have been identified during development of the Bill will be dealt with, in the first instance, by more rigorous enforcement of existing provisions.

We will work with applicable organisations to improve their codes of ethics in preparation for their re- application of exempt status in April 2017.

We’ve already delivered much of our promised crack down on puppy farming, including pre-mating vet checks, reinforcing the five litter limit for a female breeding dog, and $5 million to create the RSPCA’s Special Investigation Unit – which is currently investigating 44 properties.

Should further reform be considered necessary as a consequence of the enforcement of existing laws, such as to deal with backyard breeders, that would occur by way of separate legislation.