Oz Blog News Commentary

One Step Ahead – Outlawing Puppy Factories

January 25, 2016 - 07:40 -- Editor

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“Some time later this year, it isn’t exactly clear when, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford will introduce legislation to Parliament that will shut down professional dog breeding in Victoria.”

So began the opinion piece in the Murdoch propaganda publication the Herald Sun on 21st January. The column was by James Campbell, the Herald Sun’s State Political Editor and former Coalition staffer and it continued in the same manner it started. Deceptive, false and designed to misrepresent legislation that he hasn’t even read, and well before it comes before parliament.

The planned legislation from Jaala Pulford will have little if any effect on professional dog breeding in Victoria. The legislation however will have a massive impact in unprofessional breeding in Victoria.

According to Minister Pulford the legislation is designed to make it an unprofitable enterprise in Victoria to run a puppy factory, the impact of that will likely many puppy farms or factories close down, and some will likely move to NSW where the publicly despised industry continues to thrive under a government that would rather bow down to the wishes of Party donors and lobby groups while giving the public lip service with a party stacked parliamentary inquiry, the governments second one into this issue with no changes made as a result.

If there is any impact on professional breeders it will be a positive one as dodgy breeders are forced out of business or interstate where laws are weaker.

As for the puppy farmers moving interstate, they will have to compete in a depleted market as their retail partners in cruelty will no longer be legally allowed to sell puppies. The legislation will ban the sale of dogs in pet stores instead they will become adoption centres from which dogs from rescue centre will be re-homed.

So what does it all mean for the citizens of Victoria?

Peace of mind that when they choose a pet it will be an ethical choice rather than funding a puppy farmer’s cruelty.

With an increase in adoptions, less dogs in council pens means less upwards pressure on council rates.

Less puppy farmers dragged up on cruelty charges will free up court time-saving the taxpayer a fortune.

This will mean a win for animal welfare, a win for professional breeders, a win for the public, and a massive win for progressive policy.

Jaala Pulford - Passionate and progressive Image -

Jaala Pulford – Passionate and progressiveImage –

However there are many who are angry the planned legislation doesn’t go far enough. These people bemoan the fact that it doesn’t cover every kind of animal and end all animal cruelty.

These people don’t understand the meaning of the word “Start”, as that it what this is. To criticise this legislation on these grounds is like saying it is pointless to have any foreign affairs policy at all if it doesn’t result in peace in the Middle East. It is also like saying every animal rights protest ever organised has been pointless as they have yet to achieve an end to animal cruelty.

It’s like these idiots would rather dogs continue to suffer while we wait an eternity for a miracle piece of legislation that encompasses every species.

I question the motives and agenda of any animal advocate who bemoans a victory, even if they do consider it a small one.

Understandably there are others who like Campbell are upset at threat of the closure of puppy farms and factories. The puppy factory owners, those who use them to launder money or evade tax, the National Party, and as Campbell points out in his post industry lobby group PIAA.

PIAA as Campbell points out are up in arms over the legislation and the threatened closure of puppy factories, and why wouldn’t they be? They represent the pet stores peddling the products of puppy factories, they have puppy factories as paying members and recently appointed a puppy factory owner to its board of directors.

PIAA have a little slogan they like to trot out every time something like this comes up.

“Animal Welfare Is Everyones’s Business”

A neat little bumper sticker in the making that is designed to offload the guilt for their complete and utter failure onto the public.

The slogan itself borders on offensive, and is reminiscent of the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign that adorned the entrance to Auschwitz that means “Work Sets You Free”. For PIAA to be talking about animal welfare whilst they endorse the practice of breeding suffering dogs in horrific conditions until they die or are killed is offensive in every sense of the word.

PIAA tells us there's nothing to see here... Image - Oscars Law

PIAA tells us there’s nothing to see here…Image – Oscars Law

Here’s what a former employee of the new PIAA Board Member Matthew Hams had to say about their time at his Puppy Factory farm Banksia Park Puppies on an article by Debra Tranter on the fiasco of Banksia Park Puppies open day.

“I worked at ACA for a few weeks, it was working in hell. Its now called Banksia.
The bitches were forced to be mated all the time and to several different dogs, some were kept on chains. No one knew what cross the pups were and they were sold as whatever was wanted. Dogs and puppies were bought and sold in dozens from the other puppy farms.
On one awful day 14 dogs were killed by the Boronia vet, they were no longer wanted for breeding, no one cared. Mum dogs gave birth on their own and many died because they couldn’t get the pups out. Mums were in agony all night and if they were alive still in the morning the vet was paid to save the puppies. The vets were busy mending birth defects very cheaply but the new owners were never told that the puppies had been operated on. The mum dogs were just called stupid for not birthing lots of puppies to sell and killed when the litters got small,they were mated every season every year until they wore out, some were really old. I was told more than a hundred were killed every year for being useless as well as the bitches and dogs that died from neglect. I was so sick with the poor dogs suffering I left after more dogs were destroyed.
Banksia Park Puppy Farm is Hell on Earth, for God’s sake close it down.”

If this is how PIAA board members work it sounds like while animal welfare is everyone else’s business, animal cruelty is PIAA’s business.

I love the wide open spaces and freedom PIAA provide for me and my pups Image - Oscar's Law

I just love the wide open spaces and freedom PIAA provide for me and my pupsImage – Oscar’s Law

Another aspect of the legislation that has come under criticism from PIAA is the limit to five litters per bitch. Something the former Coalition Minister Peter Walsh promised he would do. However when releasing the legislation to the public in the dead of night at the last-minute it was discovered it was a promise he broke in true Coalition style.

Walsh claimed to have broken this promise on the advice of vets. This would seem to indicate when writing the legislation on the welfare of these dogs Walsh had not consulted with any medical professionals in the field. It was later discovered a last-minute meeting was held at a club with Staff within Walsh’s dept, industry lobbyists, puppy farmers, and a few vets whose largest clients were puppy factories. Walsh chose to side with the puppy farmers and vets at this secret meeting for whatever reasons and despite the fact that it was the opposite of what the Australian Veterinary Association recommended in their media release below.

media release

I, like tens of thousands of others, will welcome this legislation from Jaala Pulford. It is a monumental foot forward in the battle against animal cruelty and may just force other states to follow in Victoria’s lead.

The public support organisations like Oscar’s Law show that the community will support Labor’s moves to eliminate the cruelty from this business. The fact that there is so much public knowledge already regarding rescue services and animal adoption also indicate that Jaala Pulford and Labor are acting in the public interest rather than blindly following industry lobby groups.

Imagine that, a Minister and a government that not only hears community concerns but acts upon them.

Isn’t that how democracy is supposed to work?



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