First things first. Whilst I am discussing the proposed changes to the legislation that aim to regulate dog breeders, I am in no way condoning the sale of animals. The only way to stop puppy farms, is to stop selling dogs.
Well it looks like the Bligh Government is having another go at trying to prove that they are serious about stopping animal abuse in Queensland.
This time they are confusing us with the recent Draft Regulatory Assessment Statement on the proposed regulation of dog breeders.
The statement is located here
The Agriculture Minister is puffing his chest up and claiming that “unscrupulous breeders who usually run large-scale operations in isolated areas will be squeezed out under a proposed two-tiered breeder registration system.”
Feel free to believe this if you want to, the sad fact of the matter is that I highly doubt that it will actually happen.
According to information in the DRAS, the puppy industry was worth $29 Million in 2009, and that they believe that there is a market for 78,000 dogs per year.
There are four proposals have been listed in the DRAS for public input, though I don’t think that they even scratch the surface of going far enough to stop puppy mills.
Option 1: Keep things the way that they are
Option 2: Registration of breeders with 10 or more entire bitches, or 20 of more entire dogs.
Option 3: Registration of breeders with 10 or more entire dogs.
Option 4: Registration of persons with 10 or more dogs.
Whilst option 4 seems to be the best and have the most coverage, it should be noted that puppies under the age of 6 months are not included in this legislation.
So theoretically, regardless of which option came in, it would be possible for a person to have 9 female dogs for breeding purposes, and have litters being pumped out as fast as they can get the dog pregnant again, and still be legal under the proposed laws, as long as the puppies are sold before they are 6 months old.
Lets say that the average dog has a litter of 6 puppies, and the time from initial conception to the time that they are likely to be impregnated again is 6 months. That means that a person with 9 dogs could for all intents and purposes sell 108 puppies in a 12 month cycle. Yet according to the government, this is not a large scale breeder because there are not 10 or more dogs.
So much for stopping puppy mills.
All you have to do is have a look at any online marketplace and see how ineffective the legislation will be at stopping puppy mills.
The other point to take into consideration is that the Bligh Government may not be in power in when in a month or two’s time, and we don’t know what sort of commitment the LNP have to following through with this legislation. So this could be a waste of time and money…
If you do want to make a comment about this, there is a survey located here
You can make a written submission to Biosecurity Queensland, though you have until 17:00 on 05 March 2012.