news.com.au September 16th 2013
IT IS being called “Australia’s new live export scandal”.
Australian puppy farmers are making thousands of dollars selling dogs to pet shops in Singapore, where they are forced to live in squalor and confinement, a CLEO Magazine investigation has found.
Animal welfare group Oscar’s Law recently travelled to Singapore to witness the shocking treatment of Australian puppies, some of which are just eight weeks old.
Debra Tranter, the group’s founder, explained how the lucrative puppy trade works.
“The puppies sitting in Singapore pet shops have started their lives in a puppy factory in Australia,” Ms Tranter said.
“At a very young age they are taken from their mother and transported for hours, sometimes days, and when they’re finally removed from their transport crate they are put on display in a glass box or cage and their price tag is $4000-$8000.”
Singaporeans are told the puppies are from “top bloodlines in Australia”. The dogs can sit in these cages for months, and if they aren’t sold, they are eventually placed in Singaporean puppy factories where conditions, Ms Tranter says, are “simply atrocious”.
“We caught glimpses inside these factories – wire floor cages stacked on top of one another where the sound of dogs is deafening – dogs spinning in circles as a cage, either in Australia or Singapore, is all they have ever known,” she said.
Conditions in Australian puppy factories are often just as bad. Photo: CLEO Magazine. Source: Supplied
Australian puppy factories are often no better. CLEO writer Rosie Squires investigated the puppy trade in Australia, visiting a housing commission property in western Sydney with the Animal Welfare League.
“We arrived at a house overrun with dogs,” Ms Squires said. “The woman told us she was going to sell at least 10 puppies online for $650 each.”
The Australian puppy trade is woefully underregulated. As long as a breeder offers dogs access to food, water and shelter, they fit regulation, Animal Welfare League officer Ian Hughes told CLEO.
Local breeders, like the woman in western Sydney, are selling puppies to members of the Australian public on websites like Gumtree and pups4sale.
“The problem is, more and more people are looking to make money selling dogs online,” Ms Squires said.
“An unsuspecting customer has no idea what conditions the cute puppy from the website is actually living in.”
This Adelaide Hills property was raided in June. 100 dogs were rescued. Photo: CLEO Magazine Source: Supplied
Whether puppies are being sold to Australians or Singaporeans, the customers don’t realise where they have come from, Ms Tranter argues.
“The industry relies on the cute appearance of puppies to make a sale and they don’t want the public to see the reality of how they are bred,” Ms Tranter said.
“The entire trade is based on consumer fraud, cruelty and lies, from the Australian puppy factories, the broker, the pet shops, the online trading sites, the transport companies who send puppies in bulk weekly around Australia or to overseas pet shops,” she said.
“A blind eye is turned every step of the way, the trade in puppies is business and there’s plenty of money to be made.”
Read the full story in the October issue of CLEO Magazine, hitting stands today.
Puppies are forced to live in squalid conditions. Photo: CLEO Magazine