Diamond Valley Kennels has applied to council to increase its facility to host up to 300 dogs. Animal activists say kennels of that size should not be allowed.
Diamond Valley Kennels has applied to council to increase its facility to host up to 300 dogs. Animal activists say kennels of that size should not be allowed. WIN News Sunshine Coast

'Just outrageous': Fight against proposed 'puppy farm'

A SUNSHINE Coast breeder has applied to council to expand its kennel to host hundreds of dogs, but animal activists say a breeding facility of that size would be unacceptable.

Diamond Valley Kennels has lodged an application with Sunshine Coast Council for a new facility that would host up to 200 dogs, with 100 birthing kennels.

Animal activists say a facility of that size is "puppy farming", and will lobby all levels of government to reject the application.

Campaigner for Oscar's Law, Jaime Singleton, said activists were trying to end puppy farming in Queensland, and approving a facility of this size was a huge backwards step.

There are currently no laws in Queensland as to how many breeding animals a facility can host.

Ms Singleton said as other states were working towards a solution to end puppy farming, Queensland was becoming the go-to destination for breeders wanting to exploit the system.

"We're left with no caps on anything unfortunately, and no breeding standards either," Ms Singleton said.

"So what that basically means is animals can be kept in any conditions, relative to the Animals Act in Queensland, which doesn't really specify the behavioural and social, physical, health needs of animals.

"Unfortunately with the laws the way they are, it's only going to encourage people from other places to come here, because why wouldn't they?"

She said there was "no way" Diamond Valley would be able to fulfil the welfare needs of that amount of animals.

"It's just outrageous, no matter what they say," she said.

Matthew Mitchell and his rescue pup, a staffy cross named Bellah. Activists say we should be encouraging pet adoption, rather than approving new breeding facilities.
Matthew Mitchell and his rescue pup, a staffy cross named Bellah. Activists say we should be encouraging pet adoption, rather than approving new breeding facilities. Kevin Farmer

A puppy farm is an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs' behavioural, social and/or physiological needs.

The RSPCA says puppy farms are usually large-scale commercial operations, but inadequate conditions may also exist in small volume breeding establishments which may or may not be run for profit.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said Diamond Valley's application was impact assessable and would be subject to public notification, during which time submissions from the community can be made.

"Council will consider all properly made submissions when it assesses the application," the spokesperson said. 

While council was unable to confirm the number of existing breeding kennels on the Sunshine Coast, the spokesperson said since the introduction of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014, council had only approved two new animal keeping facilities.

Are Queensland laws tough enough on puppy farming?

This poll ended on 20 December 2018.

Current Results

No.

58%

Yes.

25%

No one is tough enough.

16%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Ms Singleton said discouraging large breeding facilities was especially important in the lead up to Christmas.

"The adopt-don't-shop message should be loud and clear, not allowing these facilities to be opened," she said.

"This is something that should be stamped out immediately.

"People don't want this, they don't want it here. People are much more informed than they used to be about this type of facility."

Diamond Valley Kennels did not respond to the Daily's request for an interview.



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