How Dogs NSW fight changes to limit breeding

Steering Committee appointed for Companion Animals Taskforce

April 2013

Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Directors of Dogs NSW, supported by input from a large number of ordinary Members who attended an Open Meeting held in conjunction, appointed a Steering Committee to lead the membership through the consultation period made available by the relevant Ministers of the NSW Government for responses to the Companion Animals Taskforce Report released on 26 March 2013.

This is arguably the most critical period in the sixty odd year history of our organisation and its predecessors. For the first time ever, an attempt is being made to legislate our activities as “hobby breeders and show & trial exhibitors” into the same category as “large scale pet shop breeders” and “puppy farmers”.

The uniqueness of our organisation seems to have been sadly ignored by the Taskforce. The things that make Dogs NSW different, will need to be emphasised in our final response.One outcome of Wednesday’s meetings was clear recognition that as many Members as possible should make an appointment with their local member and speak with them with a message from the heart about what your hobby means to you and how you perceive the oppressive additional tier of licensing and asso ciated regulation will affect your future in the hobby.

You should also directly request that your Member represent your views when he casts his vote in relation to any proposed legislative change which evolves from the Taskforce Report.
We also encourage you to put your thoughts into writing and convey them to each of your local Member as well as the two relevant Ministers, Hodgkinson and Page.
To assist you, we provide the following contact details and links to assist in identifying your local Member.
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Further assistance will be added as it is collated and added by the Steering Committee who will meet for the first time on Monday 15 April 2013.
Tom Couchman
President Dogs NSW      http://dogsnsw.org.au/members/noticeboard/511-steering-committee.html

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Why it pays to read the small print. One big reason why people question the motives of the Dog Breeder’s Association

It always pays to read the “small-print”.  Doesn’t it?

Many ethical dog breeders believe that membership of the ANKC, and the individual State kennel clubs such as Dogs NSW or Vic gives them  a sense of respectability when it comes to standards. Breeders have written to us saying that no Kennel Club member can sell their pups through pet shops, in other words “registered breeders” (registered by the ANKC ) are CLEARLY not contributing to the over-supply problem….. Our  “Strict National Code of Ethics” etc

So how many ethical “registered breeders” know that the ANKC recently and very quietly snuck the following  into their strict  “Code of Ethics”: read more here

News from the US – do we in Australia want to ban pet shop sales of animals as well?

March 2010; KTA TV;

“WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — This famously quirky city that formally recognizes pets as companions and their owners as guardians put a leash on dog and cat sales Tuesday.

The West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously to ban stores from selling cats and dogs in a move aimed at curbing puppy mills and kitty factories.

Pet shops will be permitted, however, to offer animals from shelters, once the law goes into effect in September.

West Hollywood officials acknowledged the new ordinance would have little bite – no pet stores in the city currently sell animals – but they’re hoping it will have a lot of bark and other municipalities will follow suit.

“You have to start somewhere,” said Michael Haibach, deputy to Councilman Jeffrey Prang, who sponsored the legislation. “The more people who jump on the bandwagon the better.”

A socially liberal enclave surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, West Hollywood has long held a reputation as a trailblazer in animal welfare rights.

It became the first city in the country to prohibit cat declawing in 2003, a measure that has since spread to dozens of other cities, including Los Angeles. Another West Hollywood ordinance officially terms pets as “companion animals” and gives their “guardians” a local tax deduction for pet adoption fees.

Since the pet sales ordinance was introduced earlier this month, the city has received dozens of inquiries from other municipalities across the country, and even from Europe, interested in replicating it, Haibach said.

West Hollywood, however, is not the first city with such a rule; South Lake Tahoe adopted a similar ban last year.

Exemptions are provided for humanely bred, reared or sheltered animal, according to the city, and existing pet stores will be given time “to adjust” to the new law.

Councilman Jeffrey Prang says the goal of the new law is to eliminate the demand for commercially bred dogs and cats and reduce inhumane conditions in the breeding industry, which relies on retail pet stores for profit.

“This ordinance represents an important step toward ridding our nation of the cruelty of puppy mills and other commercial assembly-line animal breeders,” Prang said. “The ordinance not only contributes to the fight against animal cruelty it also recognizes the enormous cost of pet overpopulation in our society, both fiscal and humanitarian impacts. I urge those seeking pet companionship to consider adoption from municipal shelters and other nonprofit rescue agencies.”

This newest ordinance was backed by the Companion Animal Protection Society, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society of the United States.”

DRP Comment:Way to go West Hollywood!

Actions you can take:

Take heart from what is happening in the US. Continue and assertively lobby your local Council and State Government representatives t0 call for bans of pet shop animals unless they are re-homable Pound or Shelter animals. Contact your local pet store: ask them to stop selling kittens and puppies from breeders and instead work with local Re-homing groups to re-home shelter animals. It’s a more moral choice! There are pet shops who do this, why not?

Puppy farming – an expose by ABC Radio National

Hundreds of thousands of puppies are born every year, and many eventually end up in pounds, where most have to be put down. The vicious cycle involves unregulated breeders, pet stores, dog rescuers — and the buyers who take in a puppy without thinking it through, then dump it. Reporter: Hagar Cohen.

To access this radio interview, click here….

DRP Comment: this is exceptional journalism. Hagar Cohen has done a first class job to let puppy farmers, irresponsible breeders, pet shop owners, PIAA Director Bob Croucher and plain rude Wellington Council (who wont stop puppy farming on their patch) Councillors from digging a huge hole to dig themselves into.

Grab a cup of coffee as this is a terrific 30 minute + report.

Actions you can take:

The breeder, Mary Papalia who doesn’t believe in desexing can be contacted on www.genuinecanine.com.au

Please forward this report to as many people as you can:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2009/2752846.htm

The curse of Christmas…….

“I’m a volunteer and committee member for an organisation call K9 Dog Rescue near Mandurah Western Australia. We’re fully volunteer operated and donation funded. We are currently licensed to hold 40 dogs, but we hover around the 28-30 on average.  Last year we found homes for over 700 pound dogs, and we collect from the local pounds on Mondays and Wednesdays, usually taking in 10-12 dogs a week (excluding puppies).

After Christmas, this year our office was swamped with calls from people wanting to surrender Christmas dogs. We’re talking 2 weeks afterwards. Some of the other people came and just dumped dogs on our doorstep.

One story I can tell you: There was a young idiot there one day waiting with a puppy, it was the last of a litter of 11 (obviously the runt), that he hadn’t been able to sell over Christmas obviously. He wanted us to take it. The office staff asked him if he was going to get his dog steralised now…………. “NO! I want another litter” was his reply.  

Honestly, this is what we are dealing with.”

DRP Comment: this true story just highlights the attitude of irresponsible back yard breeders

If you faced this individual, what would you say to him?

Dogs NSW agrees with call for Parliamentary inquiry………

The peak breeders group in NSW, Dogs NSW agrees with calls for a public inquiry

 Recently, they have sent this letter to all Ministers in the Legislative Assembly of NSW:

 \”Dear Member of Parliament

Why I oppose the Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill.  I as a member of Dogs NSW support a well-regulated pet industry that protects the welfare of animals and preserves the right of people to own a pet of their choice. This bill does not do that. The danger of this Bill is that it gives the appearance of solving a problem when it may actually make things worse. The proposed Bill could actually cause more unnecessary deaths of dogs and cats and drive the development of a black market in pets.”

 DRP comment:what on earth could possibly be worse than 60,000 healthy animals killed each year in NSW?? What are they thinking?

 “I support the government in the implementation of strong, enforceable codes of practice for pet shops, breeders and shelters and pounds.

 The major issue that the Bill tries to address, and is of concern for our organisation and the public, is determining a way to reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats in NSW that are euthanased yearly.”

 DRP comment:And what are Dogs NSW doing about the problem? What actions have been taken so far?

 “However no credible evidence or statistics have been provided by the proponents of the Bill to substantiate its proposed solutions to the problem. 

 Urgent research to obtain accurate evidence is required. Until this information is available, policy will be made on anecdotal, emotive information that may lead to worse animal welfare outcomes.

 The euthanasia of unwanted companion animals is a complex issue. Only a range of complementary strategies can achieve the objective of reducing the euthanasia rate of unwanted cats and dogs. These strategies must be based on a sound understanding of the local situation supported by well-researched evidence for effectiveness, and adequately resourced to evaluate their effectiveness. “

 DRP comment:we agree with you exactly and that is the purpose of the Parliamentary inquiry. Thank you Dogs NSW!

“The proposed legislation is also perceived by many as simply regulating the sale of pets in pet shops. The Bill in its current form goes much further than its stated intention, setting up regulatory powers that have the potential to impact on all owners, breeders, sellers and exhibitors of dogs. The impact of the Bill on professional dog breeders is wide reaching and restrictive potentially eroding a dog owners basic rights .”

DRP comment:Ah so now we are getting to the bottom of it! – what about the 60, ooo dogs and cats killed each year? Don’t they have a say?

“This overregulation could have the reverse effect to that intended by the bill  and drive dog breeding further into unhealthy ,unregistered backyard \”puppy farm\” environments.”

 DRP comment : Dogs NSW are correct. We need far more detailed and accurate information on the pet industry which is the purpose of the Parliamentary inquiry. As we\’ve said all along, people who have nothing to hide will have no fear of an open and honest inquiry.

How do you think a detailed Inquiry will help?