Ban on puppy farms in Australia thanks to Animal Justice Party
Last week, the Upper House (Senate) in the state of New South Wales passed a bill proposed by the Australian Animal Justice Party to ban puppy farms. This is a huge breakthrough for the more than a hundred thousand puppies “produced” in intensive puppy-breeding farms or ‘puppy mills’ every year – and for their mothers. “Puppy farms are intensive breeding farms for the ‘pet industry’,” said Emma Hurst, MP for the Animal Justice Party in New South Wales and proposer of the bill. “We are going to put an end to this – mark my words!”
Currently, there are an estimated 200 puppy mills – large-scale dog breeding farms – in the state of New South Wales alone, collectively breeding some 103,000 puppies a year for sale through pet shops and websites. Although animal lovers often assume that the puppy they are buying was raised by a small, caring breeder, the practices employed by large-scale puppy farms are, in fact, cruel and unethical. There have been numerous investigations – in Australia and elsewhere – that have brought major abuses to light at puppy mills.
Mother dogs owned by these farms are kept in small pens, without sunlight or comfort, social interaction or companionship, and are forced to bear one litter of puppies after another – until it becomes physically impossible for them to continue. Many of these dogs suffer from eye and ear infections, skin diseases, tumours and hip problems. They are often denied adequate care, and are sometimes not given enough food or drinking water.
The Animal Justice Party is exposing these abuses across Australia. In Victoria, Western Australia and now in New South Wales, a bill proposed by this party to put a halt to intensive dog breeding and regulate the breeding and sale of puppies has since been adopted. The bill restricts the number of dogs a person may keep, puts a limit on the number of litters a mother dog may carry, and imposes a registration obligation on breeders.
Growth movement and successes for animals in Australia
The success achieved by the Animal Justice Party with regard to this bill is the latest in a string of victories for animal welfare recently won by the party. Thanks to this party, persons convicted for mistreating animals will henceforth be banned from any form of employment that involves animals. Also, animal cruelty will be punished more severely, pet medical care will become affordable for everyone in the state of Victoria, and the party has put an end to the breeding of dolphins, whales and porpoises for entertainment purposes in almost all states.
Consequently, the Animal Justice Party grew significantly after the federal elections held last spring. Moreover, in the run-up to the elections, the party managed to exert significant influence on the incumbent government’s national policy on animals and nature. Expectations are therefore high for the upcoming state elections in Victoria on 26 November, where the Animal Justice Party is once again putting the protection of pets, wildlife, nature and the planet high on the political agenda.
Stop puppy farms, worldwide!
Animal rights parties in Ireland and the UK are also applying pressure to put an end to the international illegal trade in puppies from unprincipled breeders. In the UK, the Animal Welfare Party was extremely pleased with new legislation in this area as an important first step towards banning cruel practices in puppy breeding and advocates further measures to combat the mistreatment, neglect and discarding of pets.
In the Netherlands – in which country the trade in dogs has been called the most lucrative illegal business after drug trafficking – the Dutch Party for the Animals put forward parliamentary questions about the controversial online trade in puppies, and is calling for tougher, mandatory measures to end abusive practices in the breeding of puppies. In the European Parliament, MEP Anja Hazekamp of the Party for the Animals successfully put forward proposals to tackle the illegal trade in puppies in Europe.
Meanwhile, animal welfare organisations such as Four Paws and House of Animals have also been fighting tirelessly to expose illegal puppy-breeding farms and bring them to justice – and were rewarded with success: recently, a Dutch puppy mill with 400 dogs was forced to close down by the courts. The German Bundesverband Tierschutz and other organisations presented this petition to the European Commission and the European Parliament to stop the illegal trade in – according to EU research – 50,000 puppies a month (!) in Europe. Sign too!