The duplicity and contempt that Dogs NSW has for the NSW CA Taskforce (…of which it is a member)

Dogs NSW are a member of the NSW Companion Animal Taskforce which recently made it’s final recommendations to the Ministers Page and Hodgkinson. Having made its recommendations, Dogs NSW has immediately set about calling its members to OPPOSE the very same recommendations that it made. This is the call to action letter that Dogs NSW president TOM COUCHMAN has sent out to members.

Question: how can it MAKE specific recommendations to Manisters, then ask members to OPPOSE those recommendations?



Dear Member, every single one of you.“We are fighting for our very existence! You must join us in this fight!”This dot point guide is provided to you as a thought provoker to assist in preparing a one or two page letter which you should send to your own local MP as well as the Ministers for Local Government and Primary Industries.Guide to responding to the NSW Government Taskforce Recommendations in meetings with,  and in writing to, MP’s and the two relevant Ministers

In General:

  • Be concise and limit your response to two pages where possible
  • Use respectful language
  • Personalise your response by describing your own situation but don’t be overly emotional
  • Use language that shows your concern for euthanized pets and public safety eg.
    • ‘I care about the excessive numbers of domestic pets euthanized in NSW…’
    • ‘I am concerned about public safety relating to aggressive dogs…’
    • ‘I agree that the public needs protection from unscrupulous and unregulated puppy farmers…’
  • include a copy of the Dogs NSW Code of Ethics (which is attached to this email)


  • What the specific problem is – i.e. the taskforce recommendations.
  • Why this is a problem for you, the community, the MP personally, the government as these interests do not automatically overlap.
  • How they can help fix it – what exactly needs to be done i.e. implementation of the Dogs NSW recommendations.
  • Introduce yourself as a constituent that has lived in the electorate for x number of years, and that you need the MP’s help.

Consider the following inclusions:

  • Ensure you convey how you believe that the Dogs NSW’s requirements of pure bred breeders, which includes well defined Regulations for the management of dogs and breeding practices, is sufficient to protect consumers and you don’t believe that any additional regulation is necessary.
  • Illustrate this by showing how you personally protect the public by compliance with the Dogs NSW Code of Ethics including:
    • Careful screening of prospective pet purchasers.
    • Not selling puppies under 8 weeks of age.
    • Providing only puppies which are well socialised, vaccinated, microchipped and vet checked, registered with Dogs NSW and which are accompanied by full documentation.
    • Providing puppies with breed specific prerequisite hereditary defect testing.
    • Providing information packs, a few days worth of food, health guarantees, short term pet insurance, ongoing support, assistance with teaching them grooming etc upon purchase..
    • Advising the purchaser that the pup should be returned at any time if they are unable to keep it eg. if they are unable to take it with them on a move
    • Agreeing to a Dogs NSW appointed Inspector entering and inspecting my premises.
  • Illustrate how you care for your dogs as required by the Dogs NSW Code of Ethics and rules including:
    • Not breeding from bitches less than 18 months old or more frequently than twice in 18 months.
    • Ensuring the health, physical welfare and fitness of your dogs are of primary importance etc.
  • Comment on how:
    • Dogs NSW and its predecessors have been regulating and managing breeders for over 65 years and has the experience and expertise to continue protecting consumers with these measures.
    • Dogs NSW promotes excellence in breeding, showing, trialling, obedience and other canine related activities and dog sports, and the ownership of temperamentally and physically sound pure bred dogs by socially responsible individuals.
    • Pedigree dogs bred by responsible Dogs NSW members do not contribute to the problem of unwanted (and ultimately euthanized) dogs and puppies in NSW pounds and shelters.
    • Where is there any evidence!! – No data has ever been provided to any forum by NSW Local or State Govt Depts which demonstrate that pedigreed dogs in any way contribute to the overpopulation, surrender and euthanasia statistics in NSW. Dogs NSW members are not contributing to the problem yet they are being unfairly targeted by the welfare groups and ultimately by the taskforce recommendations.
    • Dogs NSW members contribute many thousands of dollars each year to canine research & charities recently including:
      • ANKC Canine Research Foundation – $200,142 over 10 years though a levy on Registration of every puppy, i.e. every one of our Breeders contributes.
      • The University of Sydney Veterinary Science Foundation Vet Compass Project – $10,000 extending to $30,000 over the next 2 years.
      • Westmead Children’s Hospital – $125,000.00 for cancer research over 10 years.
      • Dalwood Childrens Home Charity – $352,000 over 16 years
      • Woodlands & Children’s Charity Homes – $9,000 over 3 years
      • The Jane McGrath Foundation – $6,075 in 2013
      • Victorian Bushfire Appeal – $32,358
      • Queensland Flood Appeal – $15,625
    • 86 affiliated Breed Clubs of Dogs NSW have a Rescue & Rehoming Fund to finance rescue dogs from shelters and pounds and most of them have appointed a Rescue Co-ordinator for this purpose.
    • Records demonstrate that Dogs NSW members only breed very occasionally but almost all members have entire dogs as a conformation ring requirement.
    • Dogs NSW endorses the NSW Government’s various Animal Welfare Codes of Practice which can be downloaded from links on the Dogs NSW website.
    • Dogs NSW members bring substantial revenue to businesses across the State from Veterinarians, pet food & pet accessory suppliers, motor vehicle, caravan & trailer retailers, petrol stations, motels, caravan parks, bakeries, restaurants etc.
    • Breeder members provide proof of residential address verifying actual location of breeding premises.
    • Microchip numbers are endorsed on dog’s registration certificate and database ensuring traceability throughout its life.

Communicating this message more widely:

  • Share this with purchasers of your puppies and ask them to write to the Ministers describing the services you have provided for them including:
  • Illustrate this by showing how you personally protect the public by compliance with the Dogs NSW Code of Ethics including:
    • Their puppy being vaccinated, microchipped and vet checked, registered with Dogs NSW, accompanied by full documentation and having had breed specific prerequisite hereditary defect testing.
    • Information packs, a few days worth of food, health guarantees, short term pet insurance, ongoing support, assistance with teaching them grooming etc upon purchase…
    • Advising them that the pup should be returned at any time if they are unable to keep it eg. if they are unable to take it with them on a move.
  • Breed Clubs should consider sending this message out to all their members because many are pet owners who not are involved with Dogs NSW organised activities but who are still very interested in dog activities.

How you should use these helpful reminders and advice:

We strongly encourage you to do two things!!!

  1. Make an appointment to meet with you local MP and take your letter to them with you to the appointment, and
  2. Write to both responsible Ministers.
  • Phone the MP’s electoral office to make an appointment. If the MP is a Minister, make an appointment to see their Policy Advisor. ( They do all the work, and have the time to understand the nuances of a problem.
  • If the MP is not a Minister, make an appointment to see them personally
  • When writing to your MP or visiting them or their political advisor please remember the following points:
    • Ask the MP to represent your wishes personally as a constituent.
    • Take the MP a copy of the Dogs NSW Code of Ethics and show the MP your membership card.
    • If possible help them to look at the Dogs NSW website and show them the ‘Code of Ethics’, ‘Guide for Care & Management’, the ‘Code of Practice’ and ‘Responsible Breeding’ pages under the ‘Breeding’ tab and other Animal Welfare Codes under the Resources/Links Tab.

Contact details for the Ministers and Members from both Houses can be found via the following links.

The Hon. Don Page, MP Minister for Local Government
Level 33, Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place
Sydney NSW 2000
By email to:

The Hon. Katrina Ann HODGKINSON, MP Minister for Primary Industries
Level 30, Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place
Sydney NSW 2000
By email to:

Follow the link below for full contact details for your Local Member:

Or download a list of contact details in various forms from the link below:

In case you don’t know, these two links to maps will help you identify which electorate you live in


Many thanks for your support. The future of our hobby depends on it!
Tom Couchman
President – Dogs NSW

PO Box 632 St Marys  NSW 1790
44 Luddenham Road
Orchard Hills NSW 2748
Phone: +61 2 9834 3022
Fax:      +61 2 9834 3872

DRP Comment:



1.deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different peopleconcerning the same matter; double-dealing. Synonyms: deceit, deception, dissimulation, fraud,guile, hypocrisy, trickery. Antonyms: candidness, directness, honesty, straightforwardness. act or instance of such deceitfulness.

You might want to add the term “lack of integrity” to this act by Dogs NSW.

Dogs NSW should resign immediately from the NSW CA Taskforce.

ACTION you can take:

Write to Ministers Page and Hodgkinson and complain at the duplicitous actions taken by Dogs NSW in this matter (contact details above).

Write to Taskforce Chairperson Andrew Cornwall and demand that Dogs NSW are forced to retract their member advice and that they be expelled from the Taskforce. If he will not take this action, ask why not.

Mr Andrew Cornwell, MP
Unit 3
313 Charlestown Road
P (02) 4942 1242
F (02) 4942 1060

7 thoughts on “The duplicity and contempt that Dogs NSW has for the NSW CA Taskforce (…of which it is a member)

  1. Tegan May 2, 2013 / 10:19 am

    What were the original recommendations/requests made by Dogs NSW for comparison?

  2. Melanie May 2, 2013 / 10:50 am

    Tegan is a breeder just FYI of course she wants to imply that they should not be subject to the laws of the state but merely to the laws of their own organisation and their “hobby”.

  3. Tegan May 2, 2013 / 12:52 pm

    Melanie, I don’t think I have ever made any statements to that effect, nor are your claims relevant to my original enquiry.

    I am not aware of the original recommendations made by Dogs NSW and I am curious as to what they are, and so to see the duplicity that Paul is describing.

  4. Josie Mc Pherson May 3, 2013 / 5:16 pm

    can;t see the problem, esp if DOGS NSW had as little impact on what was taken on board for the legilsation compared to the AR groups as happened here in Vic, where many advocates from the veterinary and breeding fields were overrun by AR people who have no ideas of actual animal husbandry requirements for breeding and care of animals so that we have draft regulations that for example fail to distinguish to the differences between cats and dogs for breeding cycles for instance, and even the differences inherent in breeds that are seasonal callers compared to those who are all year cyclers, and suggestions that newborn kittens are housed in enclosures 1.8m high – incredibly unsafe when the kitten starts to learn to walk for it to be in something with climbing towers that it could tumble from a height of 1.8m, yet the code is supposedly meant to allow for the animals to supposedly be safer. Putting animals at risk from ludicrous suggestions like this is not going to assist one bit, nor does now allowing animals with health defects to now be sold protect the consumer If DOGS NSW is now warning that there are problems with what is being suggested, where their suggestions were not taken on board, as there has been AR over input there too, then have no problem at all with that

  5. companionanimalnews May 9, 2013 / 7:25 am

    Out of fairness to a respected rescue group head and also a breeder, I am posting and email I was sent: “As well as running an all breeds animal rescue group I am also a registered breeder of purebred dogs and I believe there are genuine concerns in the proposals that the Taskforce has recommended.

    As a result I have had to contact members of parliament and ask that while they embrace a number of the recommendations that they oppose others.

    Sadly, the main point is that it asks all the current standards be set to guidelines. As the standards are designed for large scale commercial breeding establishments it sadly means that many ethical breeders would no longer comply and that has the effect of allowing puppy farms to flourish while the small scale registered breeder may die out. I don’t think this was the intention of the taskforce but sadly, this may be the effect. To give you an example, one of the guidelines says that cats shouldn’t be housed too close to dogs, so if my pet cat and my pet breeding dog live inside my home together I would be in breach of the guidelines. It’s these little things that could easily be worked through by a change to the guidelines, or exempting small scale breeders already registered with DOGS NSW, but they won’t do that if DOGS NSW members don’t ask for this.

    There are other things of course which are plainly annoying, like expecting that any breeding establishment needs to have on hand 1 staff member who has a cert II in animal studies, luckily I have this so that’s ok for me, but small time breeders don’t have staff, so what does this mean for them?? Also interesting that I’ve just heard the RSPCA now offers this course, so seems like a nice little money making exercise for them. On that note, I also have concerns about the RSPCA potentially running the license scheme. I don’t think anyone in the world of breeding or in the world of rescue thinks this groups should have any involvement in potentially running a license scheme (the DLG or council should be doing it). So I’ve also put forward those concerns too. “

  6. companionanimalnews May 9, 2013 / 7:35 am

    My point is that Dogs NSW is a member of the Taskforce – the Taskforce made these recommendations. Dogs NSW can;t ethically go behind the TF ( of which they are a member) and try to sabotage it. If they didn’t agree to the recommendations, they should have professionally not signed to it and distanced themselves from the Taskforce. They can’t have it both ways. That is my point. Any way, I have no sympathy. The Association has known for years about the pound problem and have only every objected to every single measure suggested. They could have…worked to stop pet shop and market sales. They could have…… worked to get rid of backyard breeders. They could have …..supported pound/shelter rehoming strategies. They did none of this, ..they just got in the way and objected to everything. So….they can cop it now, and respectable breeders (which the world needs) should get pissy with Dogs NSW who have landed them in this mess.

  7. Dogs NSW member May 9, 2013 / 2:30 pm

    Dogs NSW did have input and are in agreement with much of the content of the CAT – breeder details in microchips for example, something which breeders have wanted for some time. However according to the president, Dogs NSW was quite blindsided by the results of the Taskforce recommendations which they did NOT get to see before it was tabled. (Look at the members of the Taskforce – you will see it is very stacked towards organisations which know very little about breeding). You must realise that Dogs NSW is essentially a registry for purebred dogs and not an animal rights organisation. The pound problem is statistically not one of purebred breeder’s making so not sure what you expected an organisation which is essentially a registry to do about it. Purebred breeders hate puppy farmers as much as AR people, you must realise they denigrate our purebreds and make a mockery of all the care, attention, health testing etc we put into raising happy, healthy puppies in the home. Dogs NSW affiliated breed clubs DO undertake rescue. How can a purebred registry stop backyard breeders, they are not purebred so Dogs NSW has no control over them. Finally, you DO realise that this means that respectable breeders “which the world needs” won’t be able to breed any more, don’t you? Regardless of what you think of Dogs NSW, this will hurt their members rather than the registry….. it’s no good us getting ‘pissy’ with them, we can’t breed and if you want a dog in the future, your only choice will be a (local government- development application approved, raised in concrete-kennels) puppy farm dog…

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