Canberra Times, Lisa Cox; February 16, 2012
The sale of cats and dogs in Canberra pet shops could be banned, following a second attempt by the ACT Greens to make changes to animal welfare legislation.
Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur proposed new laws in the ACT assembly yesterday that would restrict the sale of cats and dogs to licensed breeders, animal welfare organisations and the government’s Domestic Animal Services Agency.
The bill is a simplified version of a similar proposal tabled by the Greens last year that failed to win support from either the government or the ACT Liberals.
The proposal calls for changes that include banning the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops and at markets, unless the animal is being sold on behalf of an animal welfare organisation or shelter.
But pet shop owners say the bill will hurt legitimate ACT businesses without solving the problem of cats and dogs being bought from backyard operations interstate.
The Greens’ bill also proposes a mandatory licensing scheme for ACT breeders that will only allow licensed breeders to breed cats and dogs for sale.
Ms Le Couteur said breeding facilities would have to be inspected before receiving a licence.
Breeders will be required to microchip the animals they breed and dogs and cats will have to be desexed at the point of sale.
The bill will come back for debate later this year.