AN END to puppy farms in Queensland and the cruel and ruthless exploitation of dogs for profit is a step closer after Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson introduced a Bill into Parliament this week.
Minister Donaldson said the Bill to legislate for compulsory registration for dog breeders would mean cruel puppy farms would no longer be able to go undetected.
"A new dog breeder registration system will, for the first time, make it possible to locate and close down those dog breeding facilities where profit is put before the welfare of dogs," the Minister said.
"Shutting down unethical puppy farms was a 2015 Labour Government election commitment, and we are delivering on that promise.
"I want to thank the RSPCA, Dogs Queensland and other animal welfare organisations for the work they have done in conjunction with the Government on this Bill."
Minister Donaldson said the government had undertaken extensive consultation including a public survey completed by more than 8300 people and 95% of respondents supported compulsory registration for dog breeders.
"This will be backed up with compulsory standards and guidelines for breeding dogs developed in consultation with the RSPCA and Dogs Queensland," she said.
"Once finalised, the standards will be adopted as a compulsory requirement under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 and will apply to all dog breeders in Queensland.
"As with any industry, there are those people that do the right thing and those that don't."
RSPCA Qld CEO Mark Townend said RSPCA staff and volunteers were only too well aware of the animal welfare issues associated with puppy farms.
"We've been forced to seize animals from conditions that were appalling," he said.
"It's purely a money-making exercise and often the dogs bred there suffer from genetic conditions that will cost future owners thousands of dollars in veterinary bills.
"We wholly support this initiative. It is legislation that we believe will make it a lot easier to control irresponsible and illegal breeding."
Minister Donaldson said the government's intention was to force out of business the estimated 100 Queensland puppy farm operators who were not prepared to trade transparently.
"Our target is those breeders who are not prepared to consider the health and well-being of their dogs and those who seek to hide from scrutiny because their practices are reprehensible," the Minister said.
"This Government is committed to providing legislation and standards that protects the reputation of Queensland's animal industries and ensures the welfare of all animals.
"The community has shown it wants to end this practice. Ethical dog breeders and animal welfare organisations are behind this legislation and we are calling upon the Opposition to join with us to kick these rogue operators out of Queensland."
For more information visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.