End the procrastination on puppy farms

The State Liberals are calling on the Weatherill Government to end its procrastination on protecting companion animals from appalling exploitation and pass the Animal Welfare (Companion Animals) Amendment Bill 2014 when Parliament resumes.

“Minister Hunter has dithered on this issue for far too long and needs to act decisively to end the wretched mistreatment of too many companion animals,” said Shadow Environment Minister Michelle Lensink.

“By the Minister’s own figures up to 20,000 cats and dogs have been euthanaised in South Australia whilst he has sat on his hands.”

The Select Committee on Dogs and Cats as Companion Animals reported to Parliament in July 2013.

The Animal Welfare (Companion Animals) Amendment Bill 2014 which adopted a number of the Select Committee’s recommendations was introduced into State Parliament in September 2014.

Now the State Government-commissioned citizens’ jury has backed the main recommendations of the Liberal’s Bill.

Measures in the Animal Welfare (Companion Animals) Amendment Bill 2014 will include:

•Registration and licensing of breeders;

•Compulsory vaccination, worming, desexing and micro-chipping of companion animals prior to sale;

•Introduction of an enforceable standard for breeding of companion animals; and,

•Requirements that sales only be purchased from registered breeders with a cooling off period.

Animal shelters can be exempt from certain rules, such as prohibiting the sale of animals bred in puppy farms, because shelters often re-home such animals.

“This legislation is a starting point to change South Australia’s laws to better protect companion animals,” said Ms Lensink.

“The State Liberals have listened to South Australians who have expressed their concerns and outrage over puppy farm operations and have acted by drafting this legislation for Parliament to consider.”