ABC News; Sept 21, 2010
Osman Arab is a registered dog breeder near Smythesdale. But how do you tell the difference between illegal puppy farms and reputable breeders?
Puppy farms have come back into the spotlight in recent days following an anti-puppy farm rally in Melbourne on the weekend and the State Opposition’s pledge to act on illegal operators.
Osman Arab breeds German Shepherds and Dobermans west of Ballarat and has around 10 dogs on his property at any one time.
Many of his puppies are trained and sold as law enforcement or security dogs.
As a registered breeder with Dogs Victoria he says he breeds for quality, not quantity.
“If the female doesn’t produce for me the quality pups that I want, she’s not worth to be bred again. So we can de-sex her and sell her as a pet or if she’s trained, like Keira she will go hopefully to a security company or law enforcement company.”
Osman says the line of breeding is important to ensure the dog has a good temperament and trainability.
His dogs are kept in 12 metre long exercise yards during the day and in an insulated shed at night.
Unlike many puppy farms, he says he will not breed his dogs more than once a year.
Osman says the concept of puppy farms and backyard breeding disappoints him.
“A lot of backyard breeders, they sell dogs that they don’t even know who is the parents of them. They’ve just got two puppies, breed them and they start selling them. That’s not far away from a puppy farm. It’s exactly the same.”
A puppy farm at Beremboke was exposed and shut down earlier this year following an investigation by Animal Liberation.
More than 30 dogs had been neglected and were caged without adequate food, water and shelter.
RSPCA Victoria CEO Maria Mercurio says reputable breeders will not breed in large numbers simply for profits.
“A reputable breeder will not be breeding on a massive scale.
“Puppy farms are like factories, they are factories, churning out hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of puppies.”
She says there when visiting a reputable breeder, there will be plenty of evidence that the dogs are well looked after, exercised and socialised.
“A registered and reputable breeder will always be open and transparent in terms of the parentage of that dog, they’ll be more than willing to show the prospective buyer the facilities where these dogs are kept and bred.
“A reputable breeder will always want to attempt to ensure there’s a good match between the puppy and the prospective home.
The RSPCA recommends that people looking for a specific type of puppy should contact dogs Victoria for a list of reputable breeders.