'Landmark legislation': State government to outlaw puppy farms and illegal backyard breeders

About 35 per cent of West Australians have a furry friend in their family and these precious pooches will be more protected than ever under new "landmark legislation" to be introduced to state parliament.

Puppy farms will be outlawed and buying puppies from pet shops banned in an effort to improve the welfare of dogs.

Under the proposed new Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill, owners that are not registered breeders will need to de-sex their dogs by two years old.

A centralised registration system will store information on breeders and identify dogs, tracing them throughout their lives.

Pet shops will only be able sell dogs sourced from rescue centres.

The state government will help retailers transition instead to dog and puppy adoption centres to help re-home displaced and abandoned pooches.

Authorities will also have the power to shut down dodgy or illegal breeders.

Premier Mark McGowan was joined by Local Government Minister and Mandurah MP David Templeman at K9 Dog Rescue on Sunday to make the announcement.

Mr McGowansaid the laws were a commitment to stop over-breeding and help track down illegal breeders.

"Dogs are an important part of many families in Western Australia. We want to make sure they are looked after and treated well throughout their lives," he said.

"We're going to outlaw this awful, terrible, shocking practise.

"I want to thank rescue groups, like K9 Rescue, for the work they do, and look forward to this legislation helping keep our dogs and puppies safe and healthy."

The Bill comes after three years of community consultation and almost 5000 submissions from the public.

Mr Templeman described the proposed new laws as "landmark legislation".

"I am confident this landmark legislation is going to have an impact on the health and wellbeing of an animal that so many West Australian families love," he said.

"The new provisions to the Act aim to enhance animal welfare, stop the over-breeding of dogs and help identify who is breeding dogs so they can be monitored.

"Underlying all of this is responsible dog ownership and making sure we continue to educate pet owners.

"Ensuring our dogs are healthy and happy is the least we can do to thank them for their devotion and service."

Premier Mark McGowan was joined by Local Government Minister and Mandurah MP David Templeman and Puppy Farming Working Group chair Lisa Baker at K9 Dog Rescue on Sunday to make the announcement. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Premier Mark McGowan was joined by Local Government Minister and Mandurah MP David Templeman and Puppy Farming Working Group chair Lisa Baker at K9 Dog Rescue on Sunday to make the announcement. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Puppy Farming Working Group chair Lisa Baker said the new model was "best practise and universally accepted".

"This legislation will make our dogs and puppies safer and encourage better welfare for all dogs," she said.

"West Australians will be able to trust that the dogs and puppies they are bringing into their homes have not come from illegal puppy farms, and, if necessary, can be traced back to the person who bred them."

Rescue and shelter organisations in WA take in more than 3000 dogs every year.

K9 Dog Rescue president Carol Carter said the organisation re-homed 300-400 dogs and puppies every year.

"Puppy farms or backyard breeders - they are all the same and they can cause a lot of deformities in dogs," she said.

The legislation has already been drafted and is expected to be introduced to parliament for debate in the coming weeks.

As part of the changes, the state government will also run an education campaign to promote responsible pet ownership.