Geelong Advertiser; Kerri-Ann Hobbs; March 29th, 2010
A MELBOURNE puppy farmer has unveiled plans for a super-sized breeding centre at Ballan, about 70km north of Geelong.
Planning documents filed with the Moorabool Shire Council show the proponents, Robert and Chanthavilit Attard, want to build 52 runs, each to hold two breeding dogs, and a birthing shed on the 20ha farm on the Ballan-Geelong Rd.
But the plan has shocked the RSPCA, which described it as one of the largest farms it had encountered.
“Mr and Mrs Attard wishes (sic) to build a house on the property and expand his current interests in the ‘dog breeding industry’ and develop a dog breeding and dog rearing establishment,” the application stated. “The site is currently used for the grazing of sheep, has water supply related infrastructure already established suitable to be further developed for use as a dog breeding farm.”
The business plan shows the breeding centre would have two, 26-run kennels, with two breeding dogs to be kept in each pen.
The runs would be 4m by 15m, with 14sq m of concrete in each pen and one third of the concreted area covered by a shed to house the dogs.
A 5m treed buffer would separate the two kennels and extra trees would be planted in the pens to give dogs shade.
The entire centre would be screened with trees to reduce barking annoying neighbours.
RSPCA chief executive Maria Mercurio said the organisation did not support the establishment of puppy farms and she believed the community also hated their existence.
She said the group was lobbying the State Government to boost animal protection laws to ensure puppy farms were more accountable and that councils enforced those rules.
“It’s very frustrating for us as well,” Ms Mercurio said.
“The rules need to be re-written, they need to be clear and they need to be easy to enforce.”
Animal Liberation Victoria’s Debra Tranter said the group would be lobbying to prevent the permit being granted.
“The plans for this puppy farm resemble a piggery,” she said.
“Dogs are not primary producers, they are companion animals and deserve to be treated as such.”
The Ballan property is about 20km from the site of another notorious puppy farm run by Leslie Paxton and Melinda Pryor, who were accused of keeping dogs in appalling conditions on their Beremboke farm.
Earlier this month the shire council won their VCAT hearing, with a ruling that banned the couple from keeping more than five dogs at their property.
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