MOORABOOL animal lover Beth Haywood is rejoicing after the local council refused a permit for the construction of a puppy farm in Ballan.The Coimadai resident was one of 1300 people from across Australia who submitted an objection with Moorabool Council to the proposed development of the farm beside the Geelong-Ballan Road. Melbourne puppy breeder Robert Attard applied in November last year to house 15 dogs and 85 breeding bitches at the property.
Permission was refused at a council meeting last week after councillors heard five objectors and the applicant speak on the matter.
Ms Haywood, who owns a dog rescued from the notorious Paxton puppy farm north of Anakie, said there was no room for such inhumane practices.
“The Paxton farm was ridden with carcasses of dead animals,” Ms Haywood said. “There were a lot of dogs caged or tied up.
“I’m really happy the council decided to block this farm.”
Locals and animal rights activists, including Debra Tranter and RSPCA chief executive Maria Mercurio, drew a gory picture of some of the horrors awaiting bitches at breeding farms. The RSPCA is currently running a national campaign aiming to galvanise support and tighten laws.
Ms Tranter said she had rescued “hundreds of dogs” and knew the bitches were denied exercise, social contact and visual stimulation to keep them from barking.
The council resolved the issue at last week’s meeting, despite the applicant asking for the item to be deferred due to changes to the plan.
Mr Attard’s failure to provide a waste management and noise abatement plan, as well as potential negative impact on the ecology of the area, were some of the reasons behind the refusal.
Asked to comment on the decision, Mr Attard refused, saying he was seeking advice on the matter.
He also refused to say whether there would be an appeal against the council’s decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Ms Tranter said the fight was far from over as she believed the applicant would appeal. “He will take it to VCAT and we’ll follow him there.”