Breeder forced from industry, says change needed

CHANGES: Adrian Finlayson Smith with puppies.

CHANGES: Adrian Finlayson Smith with puppies.

A FORMER dog breeder forced from the industry says he welcomes a proposed crackdown on puppy farms.

The state Labor Party announced new measures to support animal welfare at the weekend.

If Labor is elected, the RSPCA will be given an extra $5 million to fight puppy farms, female dogs will be restricted to having five litters, and pet shops will only be able to sell dogs supplied by a registered breeder, shelter or facility.

California Gully resident Adrian Finlayson Smith, who had bred Staffordshire bull terriers for about five years, said he had left the industry due to "dodgy" breeders.

“It’s something I don’t want to be associated with,” he said.

“I left mainly due to the people doing the wrong thing.

“It’s something I’ve moved away from for the foreseeable future, but I’d like to get back into it.”

Mr Finlayson Smith said it was a case of “the few ruining it for the many”, but said the proposed changes could force the issue further underground.

“It’s something that’s a bit hard to manage,” he said.

“Hopefully with the issue coming into the public eye a bit more it will be looked at more closely.”

More than 100 dogs were rescued from wire cages at a Pyramid Hill puppy farm last August.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the government had walked away from a proposed crackdown on puppy farms.

“If a person is breeding dogs, they should be constantly in touch with their vet to ensure animals are looked after,” she said.

“What we know is there are rogue breeders out there who are breeding puppies in extraordinarily horrid conditions.

“These are the ones who need to be cracked down on, and this legislation will make sure that happens.”  

But Deputy Nationals Leader Peter Walsh said the state government had introduced the "toughest breeding code in Australia" with the highest penalties, which reach up to $86,000 for businesses. 

He said the ALP had not acted on the issue during it's time in power, and said the government was "stamping out rogue breeders". 

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