Sunday, September 19, 2010

Baillieu pledges to act on rogue puppy 'factories'

By: Gary Tippet

ANIMAL abuse and torture practised by rogue puppy farm operators will be stamped out under a state Coalition government, Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu has promised.

''We want to shut them down, that's the bottom line,'' he told The Sunday Age yesterday.

Mr Baillieu today will announce a series of measures against badly run puppy factories or ''mills'' - where dogs are treated as breeding machines, kept in crowded and unsanitary conditions with insufficient food and water.

These include massive increases in fines for cruelty and for improperly registered or illegal businesses, tougher regulations on the lucrative trade in puppies to overseas markets and the confiscation of profits and assets from cruel or outlaw operators.

The proceeds from seized assets and profits and from fines will be pumped into animal welfare agencies such as the RSPCA, the Lost Dogs Home and the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, said Mr Baillieu. The RSPCA will be given long-sought powers to enter, investigate and seize animals from puppy farms and other companion animal breeding businesses that breach the code of practice.

Mr Baillieu said the conditions in rogue and illegal puppy factories caused physical, behavioural and psychological problems and were ''clearly cruel''. ''They are not only making the lives of the animals miserable but causing grief to many, many people,'' he said..." More

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