Bill calls for ban on pet shops selling cats, dogs

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.

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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.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Bill calls for ban on pet shops selling cats, dogs

  1. TINA WEBB

    THIS MAY BE A GREAT STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT WHY START IN CANBERRA .. WE HAVE BEEN SCREAMING OUT FOR THIS FOR YEARS.. THERE IS NO TIME TO BE WASTED ON THIS SAD SITUATION. END PUPPY FARMING AND MORE STRICTER MONITORING OF BREEDERS

  2. The Lone Ranger

    The licensing proposal needs to be extened to animal welfare/.rescue groups as well

  3. nicole williams

    its about time but it should be enforced in all states not just one at a time…..

  4. I can’t help but feel that this move, which I view as short-sighted and extreme, is akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water. The argument that pet shops target impulse buy or are a front for puppy factories is in many ways suggesting that this proposed legislation is merely treating the symptom and not the cause. Pet shops and the sale of ets from pet shops are an overt exercise in which regulation and compulsary codes of practice can eliviate most of the arguments suggested in the proposed legislation. I advocate for rehousing and rescuing of pets from shelters before looking elsewhere (such as pet shops), but banning pet shops from the sale of puppies and kittens will merely drive the problem underground, and more to the point, internet trading sites. These sites and more importantly the ‘seller’ of the goods are not bound by any code of practice and nor could this be enforced. We all know that shelters adopt a philosophy of educating the purchaser and ensuring that they are suitable pet owners and that the pet is suitable for them. They also ensure that the pet is desexed, microchipped, temperment tested etc. So rather than drive the sale of pets underground (backyard sales and internet trading sites etc) why wouldn’t you engage with relevant stakeholders and the pet shop industry in developing similar (and I say similar as it is not always possible to have a puppy or kitten spade at an early age) welfare provisions and a mandatory code of practice for the pet shop industry? I fear that by implementing this legislation we fail to address puppy factories, we create and even bigger oversupply of unwanted pets and thereby create a monster that we can’t kill. Take the blinkers off and focus on the cause of the problem instead – Pet Factories!

    • mitchjesson

      I think this is an issue that needs to be addressed on many different levels.. Just one course of action is not enough. Tighter legislation to stop pets being sold in pet shops/online and in the papers. Much tighter checks/controls and regulations to breeding pets. As well as limiting the amount of breeders allowed. High Volume/low cost de-sexing programs. The laws need to change now. Not just one law but a whole score of laws that have allowed this to become a problem in the first place
      At least this is a step in the right direction.
      and if it was implemented with other actions like the low/cost de-sexing program for starters it surely must help

    • WAS

      But doesnt it remove impulse buying? Which is a major problem.

  5. Jan Baker

    I think that the government should attack puppy farms, they are where all these unwanted puppies come from. We have to start at the source & this is where puppy farms should not be allowed to produce puppies at the rate in which they do & have these poor dogs kept in these filthy, inhumane conditions. How can the Government allow these people whose only interest is MONEY to be able to run these shocking places. They have NO concern for the welfare of these dogs & puppies. These should be closed down & these dogs taken away from these people. Puppy farmers go to pounds, whose policy is not to have mandatory desexing in their pounds & they take a couple of undesexed dogs out & add them to their puppy farming. Council rangers, the RSPCA & the AWL should have more authority to be able to go into these places to see the conditions that these dogs live in & to have the authority to close them down on the spot & take away these dogs. Then pet shops will have a less supply of dogs to put in their shops. We don’t need pet shops to sell animals at all.

  6. Sharon Hobbs

    WE WANT OSCARS LAW!!!!!!!!

  7. Jenna

    Watch and learn – we want Oscar’s Law http://youtu.be/InmKjGZGx98

  8. Julie

    Here is the UK celebrity vet Marc Abraham (MarctheVet.com) has spearheaded a hugely popular yearly event called PupAid 2012 (Puppyfarming Awareness Day)
    please check it out on your search engine. PupAid 2010/2011 and with 2012
    looming has mushroomed in popularity and now is attended by thousands and moving to London from Brighton (Stanmer Park) as it has outgrown this venue!
    It is attended and supported by many celebrities with auction for guitar signed by global rock stars. There is a large music stage at the event with bands playing all day, at least two rings displaying various dog related areas of interest ie Companion Dogs for the Disabled display showing how these dogs make a big difference to the lives of the disabled etc, Sobering Display of Ex Breeding Bitches with talk of how they were rescued from these hideous hell hole puppy farms and the health problems they encounter. Marc Abraham speaks about the plight of dogs in puppy farms and the health problems often had by puppies purchased from such places with a message to Rescue Not Buy. Even politicians are coming on board! There are dog rescue charity stalls from here and abroad ie DogsTrust and beer tent, food stalls, anything promoting good dog ownership. Their are dog behaviourists with stalls and dog toys,leads, muzzles for sale. The majority of money raised on the day goes to dog rescue charities and promotes awareness of this cruel trade and its getting bigger and bigger now moving to London. I urge Australia to consider hosting such an event to bring bigger awareness to the Australian public and ultimately this brings it to the attention of politicians who have the power and influence to bring in new laws banning cruel puppy farms and heavily regulating dog breeders and making those considering taking on a dog aware of the problem. This should lead to people rescuing over buying and should they still wish to approach a breeder at least these breeders would be scruitinised and face regular government checks. I hope this can make a huge difference to dog welfare in Australia too!

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