Proposed New Laws Mean Better Welfare for Dogs

Proposed New Laws Mean Better Welfare for Dogs

From time to time, RSPCA is asked what the State Government’s proposed new laws to stop puppy farming might mean for working dog breeders.

So, what’s happening and why?

One of the State Government’s pre-election promises was to create new laws aimed at stopping overbreeding of dogs and to generally improve the health and welfare of dogs throughout WA.

In May, the Government released the Stop Puppy Farming Consultation Paper and West Australians are now being asked to get involved and have their say.

A puppy farm is an intensive dog breeding facility operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs' behavioural, social and/or physical needs. 

The Government plans to address the issue through a range of proposals outlined in the consultation paper. The new measures include:

  1. Transition pet shops into adoption centres that can only sell dogs and puppies from approved shelters and rescues;
  2. Mandatory de-sexing of dogs unless an exemption is requested for breeding purposes or for reasons stated by a registered veterinarian;
  3. A centralised registration system to ensure every dog and puppy can be identified at the point of sale or adoption, including in advertisements for sale; and
  4. Mandatory minimum standards for dog breeding, housing, husbandry, transportation and sale.


RSPCA supports the proposed reforms and we urge you to do so too.

This year alone, numerous over-bred female dogs and their litters have come into the care of RSPCA WA. Our inspectors, vets and shelter staff see first-hand the devastating effect that irresponsible and indiscriminate dog breeding has on the welfare of dogs; many have been neglected or abandoned. In addition, many dogs we rescue have serious genetic faults as a result of poor breeding practices and may require extensive vet treatment before they can be rehomed.

The reforms should not have an undue impact on responsible dog breeders who already meet or exceed minimum standards. Simply by registering with the centralised registration system, such breeders could simply continue business as usual.

The Government’s consultation paper has been developed with input from an Implementation Working Group comprised of government and industry stakeholders. The Group includes a representative from the Australian Federation for Livestock Working Dogs. 

The public consultation period for the Stop Puppy Farming Consultation Paper is open until August 3, 2018. You can find out more, complete the survey and make a submission here.

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