The Telegraph: by Richard Noone ; March 06, 2012
DODGY puppy farms could be stamped out under an ambitious plan by the pet industry to save thousands of strays from being put down.
Pet shop members of the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) will only sell puppies from accredited breeders and guarantee to re-home any lost, abandoned or surrendered dogs.
PIAA chief executive Roger Perkins and president Steve Austin said the “Dogs Lifetime Guarantee Policy on Traceability and Re-homing” would engender public confidence in accredited pet shops.
Parts of the retail pet trade have been under pressure in recent years for an alleged association with puppy farms and attempts by animal welfare groups and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore to ban the sale of cats and dogs in shops.
“Dogs and puppies sold in our stores will only be from PIAA-approved breeders who care for their dogs,” Mr Perkins said.
In NSW the association will pay the RSPCA to re-home dumped or lost dogs originally sold through its shops.
But Mr Perkins said the PIAA would absorb the cost and there was no need for individual retailers to mark up the price of new puppies.
It is also working with the Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders (AAPDB) on the accreditation program that will introduce an annual audit of PIAA-approved breeders by an independent veterinarian.
AAPDB president Kate Schoeffel said ethical breeders welcomed the move.
But Animal Liberation spokeswoman Jacqueline Dalziell described the new policy, effective from October 1 and to be announced in Sydney today, as little more than a “smoke screen” to distance pet shops from puppy farms.
She said the puppy farms would continue to operate anyway because so many dogs were sold privately through classified ads or online.
“I’m concerned that if a dog is found to be a PIAA dog and it is suitable for re-homing will it stay in a pound indefinitely?” she said.