WA government face hurdle to pass legislation to stop puppy farming

Photo: Kaylee Meerton.
Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

The WA government has hit a bump in the road in their efforts to improve the welfare of dogs and pass "landmark legislation" to outlaw puppy farms and ban buying puppies from pet shops.

The Liberal opposition are currently not supporting the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming), despite what the state government has described as "overwhelming support" from the community.

Under the proposed new Bill, which was announced in February, 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.

According to the state government, community consultation undertaken in 2018 was overwhelmingly positive, with approximately 5,000 submissions received which informed the draft Bill.


Local Government Minister David Templeman said the rejection of the new legislation by the Liberal government put the welfare, safety and health of dogs in WA at jeopardy.

"The opposition not supporting this legislation is putting the health and welfare of dogs in Western Australia at risk," he said.

"This legislation has overwhelming community support and this is another example of Liza Harvey and the opposition not listening to Western Australians.

"Dogs offer us so much in life and they are valuable members of our community. Looking after their wellbeing is the least we can do."

Mr Templeman said the state government remained committed to the Stop Puppy Farming Act.

"...we made a clear commitment at the election and we intend to deliver on that," he said.

About 35 per cent of West Australians have a furry friend in their family, while rescue and shelter organisations in WA take in more than 3000 dogs every year.

In an interview with the Mandurah Mail earlier this 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.

For more information on the new provisions to the Act and the Stop Puppy Farming project, visit http://www.dlgsc.wa.gov.au/stoppuppyfarming.