An update of the ‘Puppy Farm’ Bill
We have been very busy over the last few months and particularly the last few weeks. The ‘Puppy Farm’ Bill was introduced into the Victorian Parliament, and since then, we have been meeting with politicians, media, and other well respected Industry officials about the unintended consequences of this Bill. See lower for an update on what this Bill entails, what it means for Banksia Park Puppies, and what it means for you.
The latest update
Your efforts have directly assisted in the Bill being referred to an Upper House Committee for review
This means that an Upper house committee called the Economic and Infrastructure Standing Committee will undertake an inquiry into the Bill to make sure it is the best thing for animal welfare, and the best thing for Victoria.
This is FANTASTIC news.
We are putting in a written submission to the Committee, and have also been called to appear as a witness. If you would like to have your say you can, send an email with your statement to the Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org. It does not need to be long and you could include the following:
- Your experience in looking for a puppy in Victoria
- The things that matter to you when buying a puppy
- Your experience of buying from Banksia Park
What do we need to do now?
As you know the Bill is looking to limit the number of breeding dogs to 10 per breeder which will have the effect of closing Banksia Park Puppies.
It is still vital that we keep the pressure on the MPs We have come so far but we need to make sure that the Victorian MPs well and truly know that you care about this legislation and don’t want to see it introduced in its current form
While the Inquiry is a great step forward we still need MPs to vote against the Bill when it comes to Parliament.
What can I do?
Contact your Local Member of Parliament!
CALL, EMAIL, VISIT, EMAIL AGAIN!
Make sure your local members know your point of view. Tell them your story. Why did you buy a Banksia Park Puppy? Why do you not want to see us closed? Are you sure they know your thoughts on the Bill?
Check who the Members in your region are by putting your address in at this link https://electoratelookup.vec.vic.gov.au/LocalityFinder.aspx
As we have two Houses of Parliament in Victoria you have different Members representing you in each House. You have one Member of Parliament representing you in the Lower House and five in the Upper House. We need you to write to all of them.
State District Sitting Member (your local Lower House Representative):
It is important that they understand your point of view, and most MPs will respond directly to you explaining that they understand and take your concerns seriously.
State Region Sitting Member (your local Upper House Representatives):
These are the members who will ultimately decide whether the legislation is passed as law, reviewed, changed, or blocked. Remember to email them and let them know that you care about this issue and you don’t want to see the Bill introduced in it’s current form.
Your members need to know that this Bill is bad for animal welfare and bad for Victorians. Make sure that the members representing you know your thoughts.
Let us know if you want us to help and how your local members respond to your concerns.
In the Media
Have you seen us? We’ve been on the Bolt Report, in the Herald Sun, and in the Australian over the past few weeks. They all support our concerns about this ill-considered Bill. See below to copies of these articles.
Pain for Victorian Labor as dog breeders maul mongrel of a law
Weekend Australian Inquirer
Victorian puppy farm bill back on the leash
New Victorian laws will create puppy black market- vets
Herald Sun on dog breeding laws
Andrew Bolt live on SkyNews
What does the Bill entail?
The Bill states that all dog breeders have a maximum of 10 female dogs. This is regardless of the care they are given, the experience of the breeders, or the number of staff a breeder has. It also doesn’t take into account the facilities, the rehoming practices or the benefit to the community.
There is no scientific or animal welfare reason for imposing a limit of 10 breeding dogs at one property. A NSW parliamentary inquiry into this issue found there was no valid reason to impose a limit on breeding dogs, and the RSPCA has stated that there is no evidence that imposing this limit will have any benefit to animal welfare.
What does it mean for Banksia Park Puppies?
Banksia Park Puppies will not exist as it does now. Victorians will not have an open and transparent place to get their family-friendly puppies.
Smaller does not mean safer. Our property has more than 100 breeding dogs which are looked after to the highest possible standard. The scale of our business enables us to make the investments needed to ensure our dogs and puppies are provided the best care and go to their new homes healthy, happy and well-socialised.
We have invested approximately $250,000 over several years to ensure our breeding facilities meet or exceed the required standards. Our dogs have access to playgrounds in their yards, two different agility yards, heated and cooled nurseries (including heated floors) and exercise areas in the nursery.
We welcome the supervision of our business by local council and animal welfare inspectors.
The welfare of our dogs and puppies is our top priority. We have nothing to hide and we welcome visitors so they can see how puppies and their parents are cared for.
Many of our customers carry out extensive research before choosing their puppy, many of which includes a visit to our property to see for themselves how our puppies are cared for. This avenue will no longer exist, and closing a business such as ours will force more consumers online and into unregulated markets.
What will it mean for you and puppies?
The legislation is well-meaning, but will have unintended consequences and may in fact lead to worse animal welfare outcomes.
We welcome effective regulation that protects and improves animal welfare and stops cruel puppy farming operations, but this legislation will not target these people.
There is strong demand for puppies and the proposed legislation will likely promote an underground industry with more (not fewer) rogue breeders, making it harder to monitor and ensure compliance with the rules.
Dog breeding businesses should be regulated and transparent but the proposed legislation does nothing to promote this objective.