Bill targets legal breeders
I am writing to you regarding your article regarding the proposed puppy farm bill (“Dog Fight”, Bendigo Advertiser, November 29) and specifically regarding Councillor Neil Beattie's stance on the puppy farm bill.
From the comments in your article, it seems apparent that he doesn't quite get the ramifications should the bill gets passed in its current form.
The promise by the Minister for Agriculture was to crack down on illegal puppy farms and backyard breeders. There is no argument that illegal puppy farmers who keep puppies and dogs in abhorrent conditions should be shut down. But this bill doesn't do that, rather it targets those already operating legally.
Should this proposed bill pass, the costs to legal purebred dog breeders, who are not commercial breeders, and to working dog breeders, would be enormous.
One result would be the necessary increase in the cost to purchase good quality, well-bred pups which are already not cheap. Then there's the cost to councils.
Part of that cost to councils will be the requirement to conduct annual compliance audits on everyone who is designated as a small domestic animal business/recreational breeder – defined as someone who has five dogs or less and who intends to breed even one litter.
The requirements in this audit document have been developed for commercial facilities of 100 dogs or cats or whatever, but are ludicrous in the extreme for a non-commercial breeder with a few litters a year (or less) born and raised in a household environment.
Enforcement of current legislation and regulating online sales are the real key to shutting down illegal puppy farms and unregistered backyard breeders, not yet another of legislation.
The minister could easily fulfill her promise simply by working with all the stakeholders to find truly consultative, cooperative and collaborative approaches to the enforcement of the current legislation.
Judith-Ann Robertson, Woodend
Children require stability
After listening to my daughter and daughter in law’s concerns about the way the education for their youngest is being delivered and the problems it results in, I have become concerned as to how the education system is organised in certain Bendigo schools (and far as I know, around the state) in regards to the teaching of our youngest citizens.
For the first two years of her school life my granddaughter has been in a split class, meaning she has one teacher for three days and another for two days, and my grandson is about to experience the same at a different school. I can accept that such a system may well work for older children, but surely our youngest starting school need stability, consistency and uniformity as they grapple with the complexities of learning.
How do they receive that when they have two different people with two differing personalities and with differing interpretations of the methods to be used? No principal or education expert will ever be able to convince me that this system of delivering education is of benefit to the child.
If, as we are told repeatedly, early education is essential to a child’s future success in life, why do we have a system that places lifestyle needs of teachers first and the needs of our children second?
Far too often we have seen the disasters resulting from experimentation with the delivery of education in the past, such as the number of graduates from our universities who fail basic numeracy and literacy tests.
Do we really need another generation to require remedial work later in their life because someone wanted to experiment with a proven system when they were young?
Should having a flexible workplace for adults take precedence over the stable delivery of a basic early education for our youngest children?