Farmers bark at new dog breeding rules

File photo
File photo

NSW Farmers is concerned that the fundamental position of working dogs on farms is under threat with proposed dog breeding regulations.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has developed draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Breeding Dogs) Standards and Guideline in response to animal welfare incidents on puppy farms but they will apply to all dog breeders.

NSW Farmers has strongly opposed these proposed regulations applying to working dog breeders as they are not feasible.

Chair of the NSW Farmers Animal Welfare Committee James Jackson said that the proposed regulations are completely unrealistic for small breeders, and they do not differentiate between working and companion dog operations.

“These regulations are intended to address health and welfare concerns with puppy farms. The regulations focus on large commercial operations and will require all breeders to have completed specific training courses, have specialised housing facilities and detailed management procedures,” Mr Jackson said.

“The detailed requirements will force working dog breeders to either stop operating or continue in fear of being found non-compliant, with these overly bureaucratic requirements”.

“We are deeply concerned that the vital role of working dogs in agriculture has not been considered. There is no recognition of the importance of working dogs nor that these dogs are bred for a specific purpose unlike companion dogs.”

“NSW Farmers is calling on NSW Department of Primary Industries to exempt working dogs from these requirements, and recognise the difference between working and companion dogs.”

“Working dogs need to be treated different, otherwise they will continue to be tangled in puppy farm regulation”. 

The DPI will review feedback provided to a recently concluded stakeholder consultation process and consider whether amendments are required.