The Advertiser, Adelaide, AAP, Sept 11, 2009
- 200 dogs from a breeder’s property in one of Queensland’s biggest animal welfare operations.
Biosecurity Queensland deputy chief veterinarian Dr Rick Symons said the dogs were living in cramped, filthy and substandard conditions on the property at South Burnett, north-west of Brisbane.
Several dead dogs have been found at the property near Wondai, some pregnant.
Dr Symons said the owners, who are dog breeders, had failed to improve the dogs’ accommodation, which had “faeces all over the place”, despite contact with authorities in the past six months.
He said the RSPCA had seized around 230 dogs, mostly poodle crosses, cavalier King Charles spaniels, samoyeds and beagles.
“It’s not a usual (number of dogs) for breeders to have, but it does occur,” Dr Symons said.
“It highlights the problem of taking care of lots of animals. The resources required to clean up, take them for walks, is huge.”
No charges have been laid to date but the maximum fine for animal cruelty is $30,000 or one year in jail.
Dr Symons said Biosecurity Queensland would pay for the upkeep of the animals up until any court proceedings were finalised.
“Each animal is being identified and checked (by vets),” he said.
“It costs about $12 a day to keep a dog, and you can imagine 200-odd dogs every day is quite a significant impost on Biosecurity Queensland.”
He said if the animals were forfeited to the state through the courts the RSPCA would try to find them new homes.
The breeders are believed to have sold dogs through the internet or local arrangements.