Page 1059 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 24 March 2015

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I will take this opportunity to note some of the particular comments of key stakeholders. The RSPCA praised the new requirement that breeders display their licence number in advertisements for puppies and kittens, saying it finally puts the appropriate information in the hands of potential owners. If the consumer demand for backyard breeders goes away then the potential income and often deplorable practices of unrestrained breeding goes down. They said the bill not only puts proactive measures in place to reduce the risk of puppy and kitten farms in the territory but also gives consumers the information they need to make good decisions the next time they want to purchase a pet from a breeder.

Oscar’s Law said that the legislation:

… is a great step forward for the ACT. The tougher legislation in Victoria means a lot of puppy farms are looking to relocate which is why it is so good the ACT has been quick off the mark in introducing this before parliament.

I think that is an important point. We do need to be mindful of our place on the Australian eastern seaboard in particular and the way the industry may operate in that area.

The ACT Pet Industry Association said that it welcomed the new legislation that will help end the irresponsible breeding of dogs and cats and it hoped that the same proposals were taken up by the governments in other states.

Since the bill’s introduction, many members of the public have also told me just how strongly they feel about the issue of puppy and kitten farms, and I share and empathise with their concerns. I am heartened that many of my colleagues in the Assembly—in fact, all of my colleagues—similarly appear to share the public’s concerns on this issue.

I am particularly pleased with the new licensing scheme because this will empower consumers to play an important role in making choices. Just today, I have seen a new video from Animals Australia which has graphic footage particularly of puppy farms in Australia. It highlights the importance of the Assembly taking action on this issue. Giving consumers power and information to make wise choices, as the Animals Australia campaign suggests, is a particularly positive aspect of this legislation.

Dogs and cats in puppy and kitten farms have no voice. Here, today, members are helping to give those dogs and cats a voice. Here, today, members are saying that puppy and kitten farming is a cruel, inhumane and unacceptable practice and one that will not be tolerated in the territory. I thank members for their support of this important bill.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.20), by leave: I thank members for the chance to talk about this very important domestic animal bill. I am sure that everyone is aware of the interest I have in animal welfare, having worked closely with the government in relation to the mandatory code governing the sale of domestic animals, and I spoke on the Animal Welfare (Factory Farming) Amendment Bill 2013.

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