Pet industry setting the rules over puppy farms

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.

 “The policy also guarantees that no dog sold from a PIAA member pet shop will ever be put down because it is unwanted. We will pick up unwanted dogs, care for them, and re-home them.”

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.

Original story and readers comments here: 

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3 Comments

Filed under Pet shops, Puppy Mills

3 responses to “Pet industry setting the rules over puppy farms

  1. companionanimalnews

    Yet another PR exercise by a pet shop industry desperate and under attack. Responsible and ethical breeders will never sell their pups through a pet shop in any case. And AAPDB is a grand sounding name for a small group of 2 desperate breeders and a membership of a handful of desperate puppy farmers.

  2. Jan Baker

    I don’t think I would take the word of the PIAA telling us who the accredited breeders are ……also who the accredited pet shops are….are there any accredited pet shops????

  3. Cr Andrew Antoniolli, Chairperson - ICC Health and Regulation Ctee

    Despite the negativity of Animal Liberation spokeswoman Jacqueline Dalziell and the previous respondents, I applaud this move towards the ethical supply and sale of puppies. This compulsory policy enforced and enacted by the PIAA is a sound and good practice.
    The move by some quarters to legislate against the sale of puppies etc in pet stores is absurd and will merely enhance the operations of dodgy puppy farms as it will open up a whole new avenue for the sale of puppies and thereby force them underground.
    Would you prefer that puppies were sold at flea markets etc.
    At present pet stores and their operations are overt and easy to police. Stopping pets stores from selling puppies will merely make the sale of pets covert and almost impossible to police.
    The establishment of this policy and more importantly the after-sale care of unwanted puppies is a giant step in the right direction.
    Ultimately we want everyone to buy a rescued pet, however, this will not always be appropriate or acceptable to some people and therefore the opportunity to source a pet from a store who adopts an ethical supply, sale and after sale policy can only be described as a good outcome.
    Perhaps the proof of the pudding will be in the tasting and therefore we should ask the PIAA to supply a report to the public outlining the outcomes of their policy – the good and the bad.

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