Australia has the highest rate of pet ownership in the world and pets play an important role in our society. However there is a disturbing aspect to pet ownership: over 63,000 dogs and cats are killed each year in NSW alone. Many more are dumped but re-homed by rescuers and shelters.
Animal welfare and pet rescue groups overwhelmingly say that there is a strong link between pet shops and the large numbers of pets being dumped. They say that pets are often abandoned because they were bought on impulse as cute puppies and kittens displayed in pet shops, or from cheap classified sales, but had unanticipated costs, responsibilities and behaviours, or were unwanted gifts.
Unscrupulous breeders including backyard breeders and “puppy farms”, which keep animals in appalling conditions and make them continuously breed, often sell pets to pet shops, which create a demand that in turn supports the underground industry. They also use internet and Trading Post advertisements to sell mammals cheaply.
My Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill would ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops and markets and limit advertisement/classified sales to recognised breeders and those re-homing unwanted pets. The Bill would support more responsible methods of obtaining a cat or dog including through shelters and responsible breeders where information about expected costs and responsibilities will be mandatory prior to any sale.
Pet shops will continue to sell other pets as well as pet food and accessories, and will be able to assist with re-homing abandoned animals. Pet shops have been responding to changing community attitudes towards live animal sales as well as the growing accessory markets and many now run profitable businesses without selling live animals at all.
Supporters of my Bill are calling for a public Parliamentary Inquiry into companion animal welfare, which could investigate widespread concerns about companion animal welfare including regulation of pet sales and the economic, social and environmental costs of the large number of unwanted pets. An Inquiry would enable the Government to establish compassionate policy that protects companion animals from harm. I understand that the Greens and the Opposition support this Inquiry.
I believe that a humane society would put an end to the large-scale dumping and killing of so many companion animals, and to the cruel mass breeding practices that support sections of the pet industry.
The Bill and speech: www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/nswbills.n...
My petition: www.clovermoore.com/main/page/489.pdf
While I will continue to lodge petitions in the Legislative Assembly, Members of Parliament place more weight on personal letters, emails, phone calls and visits. MPs need to hear how important this issue is directly from you before they will advocate for the Bill in their parties and in Parliament.
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Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill 2009: Second Reading Speech—Ms CLOVER MOORE (Sydney) [4.56 p.m.], in reply: The Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill 2009 is about responsible pet ownership... (22/10/2009)
Banning Irresponsible Pet Sales: With growing community concern about impulse pet purchases and cruel mass breeding of companion animals, I reintroduced my Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill in Parliament this week... (14/11/2008)
Regulating Pet Sales: Second Reading Speech— Bill introduced on motion by Ms Clover Moore. Agreement in Principle I move: That this bill be now agreed to in principle... (14/11/2008)