The Nationals WA will seek to amend the Labor Government’s proposed puppy farming laws to minimise impacts for farm working dogs and responsible dog owners.
Deputy Leader Shane Love said the Nationals WA were committed to stamping out intensive dog breeding.
“The Nationals WA find the practice of puppy farming to be unacceptable and we support improved welfare for all animals,” Mr Love said.
“However, following consultation with the agricultural sector, the WA Local Government Association and Dogs West, it is clear the State Government has not done their due diligence with this legislation.
“Our amendments will be aimed at minimising the impacts of this Bill, if it passes, for owners of farm working dogs and responsible dog owners and breeders who are members of Dogs West.”
The Nationals WA amendments will include:
- Defining farm working dogs within the legislation;
- Exempting farm working dogs from mandatory sterilisation after two years of age;
- Exempting farm working dog owners from needing to become registered breeders;
- Exempting Dogs West members from needing to become registered breeders.
“These exemptions are important in recognising the vital role that farm working dogs play in our agricultural sector, and are in line with exemptions offered by other States when introducing puppy farming legislation,” Mr Love said.
“Over their lifetime, a working dog provides about $40,000 worth of value to a farm business and important breeding stock could be restricted if farm working dogs are not exempted.”
Mr Love said Dogs West members should also be granted an exemption.
“Dogs West owners and breeders represent the gold standard of dog ownership in Western Australia,” he said.
“They already have rigorous processes in place to ensure their membership has the highest standards of animal welfare in place, including restrictions on the number of dogs a person can own and the number of litters a dog can safely have.
“None of these animal welfare standards exist within the Labor Party’s proposed legislation.”
Mr Love said The Nationals WA would continue to consult with responsible dog owners, farm working dogs, and local governments to deliver legislation which would have a meaningful impact on stopping puppy farming.
“We all support stamping out the abhorrent practice of intensive dog breeding under inadequate conditions, however the proposed legislation fails to do this.”