Puppies and kittens in pet shop windows have become a thing of the past after Victoria became the first Australian state to ban puppy farming.
The Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 successfully passed state parliament on Friday.
The bill stamps out puppy farms, reforms pet shops in Victoria and improves traceability of online sales of cats and dogs.
Under the new legislation, the number of fertile females dogs that a breeder can own and register with local council will be capped at 10.
Only those meeting additional requirements will be approved by the Agriculture minister to keep an absolute maximum of 50 fertile female dogs.
Breeding members of cat or dog applicable organisations, such as Dogs Victoria, with 10 or less breeding females will be recognised as recreational breeders and can continue to abide by their organisation’s Code of Ethics (or equivalent).
Illegal breeders will have nowhere to hide and will no longer be able to funnel puppies and kittens through pet shops to unsuspecting members of the public, according to the government.
As of 1 July 2018, pet shops will only be able to sell from approved sources (shelters, pounds or voluntarily registered foster carers) and there will be no more puppies in pet shop windows.
Traceability of cats and dogs will be improved significantly through the establishment of the Pet Exchange Register. Breeders, foster carers and members of the public advertising a cat or dog will enrol on the Register.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said: “This finishes what we started – ending puppy farming, banning the sale of breeders’ puppies and kittens in pet shops, and cracking down on the online sale of dogs and cats.”
BREAKING:— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) December 15, 2017
We've just outlawed puppy farms.
We're the first state in Australia to do this – because there's no place for these cruel breeding factories in Victoria.
Tag your (human) mates. Share. Help us get the word out there. pic.twitter.com/GOrNKGGagF
RSPCA Victoria chief executive officer Dr Liz Walker said the bill was momentous.
“Illegal operators will no longer be able to slip under the radar because anyone selling or advertising a puppy, kitten, dog or cat for sale will need to get a source number from the Pet Exchange Register, and use it in all advertising,” she said.
Dr Walker said at present, RSPCA Victoria could not account for where around 60,000 puppies born in Victoria each year had been bred.