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Puppy farming on the outer

The new registration moves were specifically aimed at wiping out large-scale puppy farms.
The new registration moves were specifically aimed at wiping out large-scale puppy farms. The Chronicle

GYMPIE vet services and the RSPCA have welcomed State Government moves to clamp down on unscrupulous dog breeders.

RSPCA Sunshine Coast regional inspector Julie Steley and Gympie Vet Services senior veterinarian Shannon Coyne said there were no large-scale "puppy farms" to their knowledge in the Gympie region but that the regulations governing dog breeding needed to be tightened.

Agriculture Minister Tim Mulherin said earlier this month the new registration moves were specifically aimed at wiping out large-scale puppy farms such as the one raided and shut down by RSPCA officers at Wondai two years ago, where 244 dogs were seized.

Those "notorious" operators generally had poor conditions, sometimes with hundreds of dogs, and failed to meet any of the dogs' behavioural, social and physiological needs, Mr Mulherin said.

Dr Coyne said there were less than 20 registered dog breeders in the Gympie region and not all of them used the services of local vets.

Most breeders were aware of the hard work needed to maintain correct standards and did just that, he said.

Some breeders loved dogs, loved breeding them and kept lots of animals, but were not able to maintain proper standards, Dr Coyne said.

"It's more an education thing," he said.

"These new rules are definitely going to be a good thing so long as they are policed."

Dr Coyne said people purchasing pets were entitled to see the facilities where the pup had been bred and the pup's parents, and should be suspicious if that was a problem.

"I would not buy a dog unless I had seen the bitch and the facilities," he said.

Ms Steley said puppy farming itself was not currently illegal and that while she had not witnessed any large-scale operations in the Gympie region in her six years as an inspector, she had come across a couple of "unscrupulous cases".

"I would welcome anything that cracked down on that because pretty much anyone can become a breeder," she said.

The government planed to introduce a mandatory registration system for "intensive dog breeders" with regular monitoring and voluntary registration for smaller-scale breeders.

Topics:  breeders dogs pets puppy farms rspca

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