The RSPCA describe a puppy farm as “an intensive dog breeding facility which is operated under inadequate conditions which do not meet the behavioral, social and / or psychological needs of dogs”.
Mr Grima said his proposal was not a puppy farm and that it “would dramatically improve animal welfare outcomes”.
“The dogs we breed are not of the same breeds that we find in shelters,” he said. “The demand is not going to go away, but by raising the standards we can help force dishonest operators who have no regard for animal welfare to leave the industry.”
the development application Submitted by Mr. Grima’s Rockley Valley Park Pty Ltd is proposing the construction of a 60 dog breeding facility on a 100 hectare property in Fosters Valley, 13 miles south of Bathurst.
The $ 841,000 development includes grassy exercise yards, secluded kennels with under-slab heating and socializing lessons, grooming facilities and a veterinary inspection area, air-conditioned farrowing shed with yards external exercise and a training center to teach dog breeding techniques.
High fences and “non-koala feeder trees” are proposed to protect the koala habitat that adjoins part of the property.
Mr Grima said the breeding activity would be based on veterinary advice and exceed standards set by law and animal welfare groups.
“Breeding mothers will be deexerized and rehoused between four and a half and five years old and will only be allowed to give birth five times, and only then on the basis of veterinarian approval,” he said. “All breeding males will be deexed and rehoused at the age of seven.”
The Bathurst Regional Council received 41 submissions regarding the proposed dog breeding facility, four of which were filed late.
“The issues raised in the submissions relate to effluent management, noise, potential impact on koala habitat, animal welfare issues and the ethics of commercial dog breeding,” says Neil Southorn , director of environmental planning and council building services.
Mr Southorn said council would consider whether the proposed dog breeding facility is permitted under the local environmental plan, any development controls, suitability of the site, likely environment, impacts social, economic and public interest.
Mr. Vince said the motivation for the dog breeding establishment was financial “and we have found that when money is the primary motivation, animal welfare becomes a secondary consideration.”
“There are many cases of dog breeders who treat dogs in shocking ways, and we don’t have to go far back to find evidence of animals kept in squalid conditions and suffering from neglect or unpleasant problems. treated, ”he said.
Mr. Vince launched a petition calling on the Bathurst Regional Council to reject the development of a “puppy farm”, which has received more than 5,400 signatures. He said New South Wales law was “toothless” when it came to puppy farms.
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said the organization supported stricter animal welfare protections and tougher penalties.
“It is important to note that it is possible to be a responsible breeder of pets and ensure high welfare standards for animals sold for profit, and individual breeders should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. by case in terms of welfare standards. ,” she said.
Mr Grima said the types of dogs people want – a decision influenced by the size of their yards and their lifestyle – are sometimes not found in pounds or shelters.
“Most people who come to our store to have a puppy have considered a rescue dog but haven’t been able to find a suitable dog at a shelter,” he said.
Harsh laws in Victoria
The proposal for a dog breeding establishment follows changes to victorian laws in December that restrict the number of fertile females dog breeders can keep and allow pet stores to only sell dogs and cats from shelters, pounds or registered foster families.
Debra Tranter, spokesperson for animal welfare group Oscar’s Law, which has campaigned for the new laws in Victoria, said New South Wales legislation was “weak and ambiguous”.
“The code allows dogs to be bred until they can no longer physically reproduce, there is no cap on the number of litters and there is no cap on the number of dogs that a puppy breeder can keep, ”she said.
She also criticized law enforcement in New South Wales: “In New South Wales puppy mills are self-regulated and that has and still causes animals to fail.”
But Mr Grima said the online puppy business would thrive if NSW followed Victoria’s lead.
“The ban on approved breeding and the sale of puppies in pet stores will only push the online business further, where many puppy breeders sell dogs without any responsibility for their health, temperament and conditions. in which they were raised, ”he said. “It would be a tragedy.
A spokeswoman for NSW Minister of Primary Industries Niall Blair said dog breeders must comply with animal welfare laws and an applicable code of practice.
She said a New South Wales parliamentary inquiry concluded that the ban on sales in pet shops would lead to less scrutiny of the pet industry without any reasonable expectation of improved results in terms of animal welfare – findings criticized by animal welfare groups.
“Another key finding of the investigation is that the committee found no evidence that the number of animals kept by breeders is in itself a factor that determines the welfare outcomes of breeding animals,” said she declared.
The NSW Pet Registry would improve welfare standards with full tracing of dogs and cats, from breeder to owners, she said. “Special attention is paid to lifetime range restrictions and deexting of breeding females when they have reached the end of their breeding life. “