DODGY pet shop owners will face tough new penalties

Article from: Daily Telegraph By Lauren Williams
DODGY pet shop owners will face tough new penalties for maltreatment of animals under new state government regulations to be introduced next week.
Minors will also be banned from buying pets under the overhaul, and a mandatory three-day cooling-off period will be introduced to stop impulse buys. The move follows attempts by Clover Moore to introduce a drastic law banning pet shops altogether, claiming irresponsible breeding practices and impulse buys were out of control.
Pet shop owner Bob Croucher said the changes were a good “half-way point” and would give the RSPCA teeth to deal with pet stores doing the wrong thing.
“Things like small pens with too many animals and especially impulse buys are a problem for a minority of pet shops,” he said
The new laws give RSPCA patrol officers power to investigate stores and issue minimum $200 on-the-spot-fines. They will also specify pen and cage sizes for different animals and force shopowners to supply written information on how to care for purchased pets.
RSPCA NSW CEO Steven Coleman said his staff receive 200-300 complaints annually about pet shop conditions.“This will make it clear and fair as to what is required of pet shops and what is required of us to monitor them,” he said. He said the penalty system acted as a good incentive for owners to act ethically in the first instance and would tackle the problem of impulse buys.“Buying the animal is the cheapest part of owning an animal,” he said.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said, while the majority of pet shops operate in a highly professional way and already met the new standards, “these changes are aimed at bringing all pet shop retailers up to the same level”.