It’s a rare day an ACT politician publicly goes against the wishes of the RSPCA, but he makes some good points:
“Greens legislation tabled in the Assembly last week directly targets ACT pet shops in, an industry that is responsible for only 14% of pet sales and is already one of the most accountable and closely regulated sectors in the Territory,” Mr Stanhope said.
“The Greens’ proposal would create laws where dogs and cats for sale can only be sourced from animal shelters and must be removed from shops each night.
“Banning the shop sale of pets from reputable breeders would lead to a surge in the number of animals purchased through the internet, at markets and over the back fence. These are the channels where it is most difficult to monitor breeding and keeping conditions; to track, chip and desex animals; and to ensure appropriate advice on care and pet-owners obligations is provided. It is also the most difficult area to ensure customers can come back to the supplier if there are issue after sale or if they require advice.
“A permit is already required to keep a domestic pet entire to allow it to breed in the ACT. The Greens’ proposal to create mandatory breeding licences is already in development in the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and is being developed with a mind to ensuring such a licence would not result in increases to the illegal breeding of animals.
“The Greens’ proposal will have unintended consequences if introduced as proposed. The Animal Welfare Act is intended to be a general document that protects the welfare of all animals. Regulations and codes of practice operate under the Act which provide for the welfare of different types of animals. By seeking to legislate in detail for specific animals within the Act itself the Green’s Bill effectively dilutes the broad protection the Act offers.