The NSW Government has today invited the community to provide feedback on the proposed introduction of a new licencing scheme for dog breeders and changes to the regulation of cat and dog breeders across the State.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall released the Consultation Paper: Licencing and regulation of cat and dog breeders in response to heightened concerns about companion animal breeding practices exacerbated by skyrocketing demand for pets during the pandemic.
“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring its animal welfare laws reflect the latest science and community sentiment, so we are calling on all members of the community to have their say on how we licence and regulate breeders,” Mr Marshall said.
“The vast majority of breeders are complying with the current animal welfare laws, however unfortunately there are some unscrupulous operators, which is why we need to introduce a licencing scheme.
“The NSW Government is proposing to introduce a commercial dog breeder licencing scheme that would provide additional oversight of larger-scale breeders to give the community confidence breeders are providing a high standard of welfare for their animals.
“The Consultation Paper also seeks feedback on whether the requirements of the Breeding Code should continue to apply as they currently do, or whether change is needed.”
Mr Marshall said the proposed changes would not impact primary producers or small-scale breeders.
“These changes are aimed squarely at those large-scale commercial breeders who are profiting off the back of animal cruelty,” Mr Marshall said.
Last year, the NSW Government established the Puppy Factory Taskforce, to ensure breeders were complying with the law and, earlier this year, NSW introduced the toughest set of penalties for animal cruelty found anywhere in Australia.
“The opening of consultation on the proposed licencing and regulation of cat and dog breeders is yet another proactive step to find, expose and shut down puppy factories,” Mr Marshall said.
The Consultation Paper is in addition to existing animal welfare reform currently underway. Consultation is open until 31 December 2021.
To read the Consultation Paper and have your say, visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.