Greens TAMS spokesperson, Caroline Le Couteur MLA, urged the Government and the Liberal Party to join groups like RSPCA, ACT Rescue and Foster and Dogs ACT in support of the Greens’ Animal Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, which was tabled in the Assembly today.
“In December the Greens tabled a draft of the legislation, and have since received an enormous response during a thorough consultation on the Bill. This really demonstrated Canberrans’ interest in the issue, and their passion for animals,” Ms Le Couteur said.
“There is a recognised need to address problems with unethical breeding of cats and dogs and the abandonment and euthanizing of companion animals.
“The legislation proposes a comprehensive approach to animal abandonment problems, covering issues such as breeding, selling, desexing, microchipping and advertising.Michael Linke, CEO RSPCA, said of the Greens bill:
“This Bill is an excellent start and highlights some major gaps in current legislation. In a lot of ways it mirrors RSPCA’s ideal policy on the breeding, sale and licensing of companion animals.”
“The strong community support for this legislation has been very encouraging. The public is becoming more aware of the invisible world in which animals are being bred and sold, especially with the exposure of ‘puppy mills’ around Australia’.
“Earlier this year another intensive puppy breeding facility was prosecuted for animal cruelty, which was breeding animals for sale in ACT pet stores,” Ms Le Couteur said.
Summary of key proposals in the Greens’ bill:
- Introducing mandatory licences for cat and dog breeders to ensure they meet proper standards of animal welfare
- Banning the sale of cats and dogs from stores and markets (with limited exceptions for animals being sold on behalf of animal welfare organisations and shelters)
- A new system of traceability via microchips, so that all cats and dogs can be traced to their original breeders
- Improvements to ACT animal cruelty laws to make them more effective
- Point of sale desexing of cats and dogs
The bill and the explanatory material are available online here