New laws to protect dogs from harm and neglect take effect today.
The new laws are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s latest animal welfare reforms and will ensure the essential needs of breeding dogs and their puppies, including working dogs, are met.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the new mandatory standards would ensure breeders are doing the right thing.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to sweeping reforms to promote responsible dog breeding and ensure action can be taken when irresponsible breeding practices are identified,” Mr Furner said.
“The Queensland Dog Breeder Register was introduced last year to help locate breeders who put profit before the welfare of dogs.
“Since then more than 18,000 dog breeders have already registered.
“These new laws are the next step to ensure dog breeders are aware of, and meet, minimum acceptable animal welfare standards.”
Mr Furner said compliance with the standards will be mandatory, while the guidelines show dog breeders how to achieve the minimum standards or better.
“The new laws recognise that breeding dogs have specific needs and require specialised care,
“They also set minimum standards for care, shelter, socialisation and breeding, and will apply to all dog breeders including those breeding pets, working dogs, hunting dogs or for commercial purposes.
“Breeders should familiarise themselves with the compulsory standards to ensure their breeding practices meet the minimum requirements.
“Those who are already meeting their duty of care obligations under the Animal Care and Protection Act should not be significantly affected by the new standards.”
Biosecurity Queensland developed the new Standards and Guidelines in consultation with Dogs Queensland, RSPCA Queensland and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.
“Dogs Queensland expects all its members to abide by our own stringent guidelines and code of ethics,” Dogs Queensland President Shane Thomas said.
“But we are obviously a great supporter of any measures that are put in place to lift the standard of dog breeding in general.”
RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend said the RSPCA believes the new measures will help provide tangible guidelines that the public can refer to and ultimately this will help animal welfare into the future.
Dog breeders who fail to comply with the new laws will be investigated and penalties may apply.
Copies of the Queensland animal welfare standards and guidelines for breeding dogs and their progeny are available online at www.business.qld.gov.au or by phoning the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) on 13 25 23.
Complaints about dog breeders who are failing to meet the mandatory standards can be made to DAF on 13 25 23 or the RSPCA on 1300 264 625.
Animal welfare reports about a dog breeder or the welfare of a dog can also be lodged on the Queensland Dog Breeder Register at https://qdbr.daf.qld.gov.au/