Greens legislating companion animal laws

johnboy 8 December 2010 16

The Greens have announced laws to give the RSPCA what they want on regulation of the pet industry.

Michael Linke, CEO of the ACT RSPCA said: “I am really pleased that The Greens are taking animal welfare seriously. This legislation addresses a number of our concerns and supports our philosophy regarding the sale and licensing of companion animals.”

“My legislation aims to end the dumping and killing of so many companion animals, and the cruel mass breeding practices that support parts of the pet industry,” Ms Le Couteur concluded.

Some of the key proposals in the legislation tabled today are:

— Introducing mandatory licences for cat and dog breeders to ensure they meet proper standards of animal welfare
— Mandating point of sale desexing
— Banning the sale of cats and dogs from stores and markets (with limited exceptions for animals being sold on behalf of animal welfare organisations and shelters)
— Introducing a new system of traceability via microchips, so that all cats and dogs can be traced to their original breeders
— Amending the ACT’s animal cruelty offences, including by increasing the available maximum fines, and introducing a new requirement for vets to report suspected cases of animal cruelty

The exposure draft is available.

(And a happy birthday to Michael Linke while we’re about it.)


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16 Responses to Greens legislating companion animal laws
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Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 5:51 pm 10 Dec 10

Desexing at the point of sale?

What, with tin snips?

MJay MJay 10:58 pm 09 Dec 10

EvanJames said :

stop pets being seen as a disposable commodity

This legislation does little to stop it… Then again this draft is rather poor, with little legislation covering other animals (yes cat & dog owners, other pets exist believe it or not)

Felix said :

Why do so many people run the ‘it’s not perfect and won’t fix everything therefore lets not do it at all’ argument all the time?

Because I’m a realist.

Grrrr Grrrr 11:31 am 09 Dec 10

So how do you desex a goldfish?

I just had a skim through the legislation and it appears that the changes are mostly about breeding 1) dogs and cats 2) for sale. Looks like if you breed without any intent to sell, then no licence is required.

It all seems quite reasonable. Boring! What happened to the good old days when everything the Greens said was radical hippy ideology?

threepaws threepaws 11:10 am 09 Dec 10

Interestingly, new legislation was introduced in May 2008 which said that cats must be desexed before the age of first breeding. Obviously this is not working, and who polices this anyway?

The requirement to have a licence to breed is also already in place, and has been for many years. Again, who’s there to police it?

All of these changes would be wonderful if only the ACT government would actually enforce the laws that they create.

housebound housebound 11:09 am 09 Dec 10

So how do you desex a goldfish?

Grrrr Grrrr 11:07 am 09 Dec 10

I’m well in favour of random people having to get a licence and jump through hoops before they’re allowed to get their hands on 1 or more desexed cats or dogs.

In fact, let’s make the fees about 1 million dollars and put it towards care of our native wildlife. Put a few of those dollars towards getting me an Indian Mynah bird trap + some CO2.

Chaz Chaz 9:57 am 09 Dec 10

Is there anything about professional sports stars & animal husbandry?

Felix Felix 9:07 am 09 Dec 10

Why do so many people run the ‘it’s not perfect and won’t fix everything therefore lets not do it at all’ argument all the time? It’s ultimately just a doctrine of despair.

The problem is real and this legislation is, at least, a reasonable first stab at fixing it. It will probably need some amendment as things unfold – new legislation is rarely 100% successful in its first form – and there are probably good arguments for additional work, particularly to really hit puppy farms, which are vile and shameful.

But I don’t believe that this destroys the value of this legislation. Requiring a licence is imperfect, but it’s one process that will tend to discourage impulse purchases of cute puppies. And surely, for the majority of responsible pet owners, it will a mild nuisance but one they’re willing to put up with in the interests of protecting animals similar to the ones they love.

MJay MJay 4:43 am 09 Dec 10

More legislation to make the greens feel warm and fuzzy at night. But will it have any impact on the pet industry? Doubt it. They can legislate to make people give advice…. but will this be enforced? Doubt it… Will the advice differ from the current bs and incorrect information they tell new pet owners who can’t do their own research before purchase? Doubt it. Would the pet industry exist without many of the clowns who buy live animals and subsequently can’t be bothered to care for them, or kill them from neglect/improper housing? Doubt it.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart Samuel Gordon-Stewart 12:36 am 09 Dec 10

Dealing with (read: hindering/shutting down) puppy farms I’m in favour of…but banning me as a responsible pet owner from deciding that one day in the future I might like my dog to have puppies by requiring that I:
1) Pay the government yet another fee and submit to their inspections of my property
2) Require that I obtain this licence before I go in search of a suitable puppy for my house which, given the requirements for these breeding licences, is going to be difficult as most breeders will assume that potential buyers of puppies will not have these licences and will pre-emptively desex animals to speed-up the process of selling the animals.

I’m sorry, but this proposed law is well and truly over the top. A better solution would be to require licenses for people who wish to breed more than say five (or another number) animals simultaneously. Further, a law preventing the ownership of pets by people who have proven that they are not capable of owning pets responsibly would be a good idea.

A blanket ban on responsible pet owners (and the vast majority of pet owners are responsible) from exercising their discretion through licencing and mandatory desexing smacks more of revenue-raising and overt government interference than of attempting to solve the problem. I’m also a tad surprised that the Greens, given their “rights of animals” stance don’t believe in the rights of domestic animals to breed…although I shouldn’t be surprised seeing as they seem to be more interested in governmental control of everything than in their “green credentials”.

Grail Grail 10:05 pm 08 Dec 10

Maybe one day we will no longer need the cat traps out in the back yard 🙂

Tooks Tooks 7:54 pm 08 Dec 10

– Banning the sale of cats and dogs from stores and markets (with limited exceptions for animals being sold on behalf of animal welfare organisations and shelters)

Some good ideas being proposed (although I’ve only read the dot points and not the draft). Pet shops should not be allowed to sell dogs, especially mongrel dogs – sorry,’designer dogs’ – for up to $1000. Encourages impulse buying, not to mention poorly socialised dogs.

Parkway Parker Parkway Parker 7:31 pm 08 Dec 10

Lets do it!

deezagood deezagood 7:28 pm 08 Dec 10

This is brilliant – go the Greens, and go the RSPCA!!! I feel so depressed whenever I pass the pet shops with those poor puppies in the window – thinking about their puppy-farm parents who live their lives in misery.

Waiting For Godot Waiting For Godot 5:35 pm 08 Dec 10

Don’t you love the ad the RSPCA is now running on radio in the leadup to Xmas, the same one they’ve run for four years now. An earnest young woman says “Last year one man called us saying he wanted us to pick up his dog because it stole a sausage. He told us to hurry so he could get back to the barbie”. It was sexist, stereotypical and fanciful in 2007 and it still is today. Why are they still telling us what supposedly happened in 2006? Do they think everybody only started listening to the radio a few months ago?

EvanJames EvanJames 5:26 pm 08 Dec 10

I certainly support this. They might do something about that puppy mill selling puppies at a monthly market, too.

Moves to promote animal welfare, and stop pets being seen as a disposable commodity, is something that needs doing. Expanding it to farm animals would be another good move.

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