A CONTROVERSED dog breeding facility has been approved by the Murray River Council despite backlash nationwide.
Dog breeder Ashley Fenn applied to the MRC for development earlier this year for a facility on Thyra Rd, Moama, which can accommodate a maximum of 200 dogs and 120 puppies.
The plans were criticized by animal rights activists and led to a petition that drew 38,000 signatures in February.
During the monthly council meeting on Tuesday, April 27, councilors heard from three deputations from Oscar’s Law founder Deb Tranter, NSW Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst and a consultant on behalf of the plaintiff.
“Oscar’s Law has a long and proud history of combating these applications, often with success,” Ms. Tranter said.
“We oppose this permit for a number of reasons.
“The board has already approved an Ashley Fenn / Benj Geerling animal business at 602 Old Deniliquin Rd. It would be a mistake to approve any additional business.
Ms Hurst was unable to attend the meeting, but her delegation was read by Mayor Chris Bilkey.
“The community doesn’t want to see dogs being bred intensively in commercial facilities, where they are treated like breeding machines, forced to pump litter after litter for their entire lives, especially when there are already so many. dogs that need good homes. in books and shelters, ”the statement read.
“I understand that the board is in a difficult position. With puppy breeding now banned in Victoria, intensive dog breeding facilities are crossing the border into New South Wales, where our weak animal welfare laws allow these facilities to exist.
The consultants said in a statement that the planning request was in line with the council’s requirements.
“A noise report has been prepared by Marshall Day Acoustics, which has confirmed that the proposed use will not create a negative impact in terms of noise and will operate in accordance with EPA’s noise policy for industry.” , indicates the press release.
“The proposal is broadly in line with the requirements of the Council’s draft companion animal policy.
“In summary, the development largely conforms to all relevant planning issues to be considered and should be approved in this case.”
The matter went to council for a confidential vote where the request was approved five to four. All councilors were contacted, with Crs Tom Weyrich, Tony Aquino, Geoff Wise and Nikki Cohen confirming that they had voted against, while Crs Gen Campbell and Neil Gorey voted for the candidacy.
“The approval was based on the proposal consistent with planning considerations under section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979,” said council chief executive Terry Dodds.
“Nevertheless, the council also amended the motion to write to the relevant minister to ensure that issues related to dog breeding, animal welfare and the scale of these types of development are taken into account in NSW’s new Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding Dogs and Cats.
“The Board understands that our community may have mixed feelings regarding the decision to approve the proposal.
“However, the council can only make decisions in accordance with the NSW Government’s planning instruments under the law.
“The MRC recognizes that the current NSW Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding Dogs and Cats is outdated, and any reiteration of the code should take into account the cross-border implications that are particularly relevant to them. advice along the NSW / Victorian border. “
Mr Fenn said he wanted to start the project after the application was approved.
“I am happy that the development permit has been approved by the city council and I look forward to starting the project,” he said.
“We look forward to supporting the county’s economic development and being part of the business community. “
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