MATT SMITH; MERCURY; OCTOBER 08, 2013
PUPPY farms will have to maintain a strict regimen of standards when looking after dogs under new regulations proposed by the State Government.
Tasmania’s chief vet Rod Andrewartha said the draft standards were established after significant feedback from the community and organisations.
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment is calling for public comment on a discussion paper looking into the minimum standards for the care of dogs. ( http://www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au)
Puppy farms, pet shops, animal shelters and pounds will have to adhere to a list of 90 minimum standards that cover everything from the staff they employ to the frequency of food, under the proposed new standards.
New standards will also apply to all dog owners.
Private dog owners would have to ensure their pets are provided with protection from rain and wind, direct sunlight, extremes of temperature or other adverse weather. And they must be provided with a clean and dry sleeping area.
The standards also propose minimum standards for exercising dogs for owners and animal businesses.
“Dogs must not be exercised in any way that poses an unreasonable risk of serious injury … prohibited methods include exercising a dog attached to a motor vehicle or unsupervised exercise on a treadmill,” the paper said.
Dr Andrewartha vet said the guidelines focused on the welfare of dogs during a review of the Animal Welfare Act last year.
“It became clear that this is an area where there are community concerns about ensuring there are enforceable standardsfor anyone involved in looking after a dog,” he said.
Dr Andrewartha said advisory guidelines for dog breeders were adopted last year but after considering feedback received last year and looking at models used in other states, the need for enforceable standards for all areas of dog keeping was identified.
“Two sets of proposed standards have been developed with one set applying to domestic animal businesses and a second set applying to dogs not in the care of a business.”