CANNINGTON MLA Bill Johnston has presented a petition to Parliament, urging the Government to ban the sale of puppies in pet stores and online in Western Australia in a bid to end puppy farming.
The petition, presented in the last week of sitting, states puppy farming as cruel and inhumane, citing their squalid conditions for breeding dogs, often kept in confined spaces to mass-produce dogs.
In WA, puppy farming is an unregulated industry and anecdotally, according to the Labor Party, sellers attempt to disguise the source of puppies for sale in pet shops.
Twenty-two pet shops sell puppies and kittens in WA, compared to 20 dog shelters that rehome up to 2000 abandoned dogs a year.
Mr Johnston said he was proud to present the petition to parliament, after sourcing the signatures from visitors at the recent Canning Show.
“We want to see a reduction in the number of puppies through the puppy farm system,” he said.
‘The Labor Party has a puppy farm policy that we are taking to the next election, modelled on the Victorian policy cracking down on the industry.”
City of Canning councillor Patrick Hall, who previously pushed for a low-kill policy at the council, praised the presentation of the petition.
“I welcome this petition… Animal welfare is something people feel strongly about,” he said.
“It is important to significantly interrupt the supply of puppies to pet shops through puppy farms and backyard breeding.”
Cr Hall said he was eager to see the City of Canning adopt a policy to ban the sale of companion animals in shops in Canning.
“I think people in the community are looking to councils to show leadership and there need to be boundaries about selling companion animals in the City of Canning,” he said.
“Puppy farms are unethical and insidious and they need to stop.”
What is puppy farming?
According to the RSPCA, a puppy farm (also known as a puppy factory or puppy mill) is defined as an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs’ behavioural, social and/or physiological needs.
Puppy farms are usually large-scale commercial operations, but inadequate conditions may also exist in small-volume breeding establishments which may or may not be run for profit.
Puppy farming is a major animal welfare issue in Australia. The main welfare problems associated with puppy farms include but are not limited to:
Extreme confinement – in some cases breeding animals may never be allowed out of their cage to exercise, play, socialise, have companionship or even to go to the toilet, as well as inadequate veterinary care and general care such as grooming and parasite control.
Further, many dogs have unhygienic or inadequate and overcrowded housing condition and frequent long-term health and/or behavioural problems in breeding dogs and puppies born in puppy farms, as a result of the poor conditions they are bred in and a lack of adequate socialisation.