Stop Puppy Farming

Dogs are an important part of many Western Australian families and promoting responsible dog ownership and the future health and welfare of dogs is a key priority for the State Government.

Contents

A dog and a puppy

The election commitment

The State Government made a commitment to stop puppy farming and regulate the breeding and sale of dogs in WA.

A puppy sitting and leaning to one side

News

Latest news on the Stop Puppy Farming project.

Close up image of a puppy's face

Consultation

The department released a consultation paper in partnership with the local government sector and industry stakeholders.

A group of puppies

Proposed new laws

The Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2020 was introduced into Parliament on 19 February 2020.

A puppy with a santa hat

Adopt don't shop

Western Australians are being urged to 'Adopt Don't Shop' and give rescued dogs a second chance by adopting a new household pet.

A greyhound

Dog standards and guidelines

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is developing standards and guidelines for dog breeding, housing, husbandry, transport and sale.

Proposed new laws

Following consultation with the community, the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2020 has been drafted and introduced into Parliament. 

The Bill amends the Dog Act 1976 and introduces the Government's proposed stop puppy farming initiatives, as well as removing the requirement for pet greyhounds to be muzzled in public places.

Key facts

Some dog breeders have raised concerns about the new legislation on mandatory sterilisation and dog breeding, which will help authorities to trace dogs and target dodgy dog breeders. We want to set some facts straight.

Consistency and transparency

Consistency and transparency of all dog breeders is a priority for State Government. There will be no exemptions to obtain an 'approval to breed'.

Approval to breed

Obtaining an 'approval to breed' will be an easy process. It will be a one-off approval which won’t require renewal unless a person moves to another local government district.

Local governments can refuse dog breeder applications only on the following grounds:

  • Under age: the applicant is under 18 years of age.
  • Criminal record: the applicant has committed an offence under the Dog Act 1976, Cat Act 2011 or Animal Welfare Act 2002.
  • No suitable breeding facilities available: the applicant doesn’t have sufficient facilities or access to sufficient facilities to breed dogs according to the Animal Welfare Act 2002 or any other written law. This refers to general dog housing standards that require a person to provide a dog with shelter and a clean and safe environment.
  • Not a fit or proper person to breed dogs.

Breeding in family homes

Dogs can still be bred in family homes, with a dog breeder approval. Dog breeders must comply with general dog housing requirements that will be introduced under the Animal Welfare Act.

Consultation

The State Government has listened and considered feedback from  stakeholders, including Dogs West members, carefully during the development of new legislation. Nearly 5000 submissions were received during consultations on the stop puppy farming proposals, a significant number of these were received by Dogs West members.

Dog breeders

  • All dog breeders, Dogs West members and non-members will be required to meet the new standards of dog breeding to ensure the health and welfare of dogs in Western Australia.
  • Dog breeders will be required to comply with minimum standards for all dog types including pedigree or cross breeds.
  • Only government authorities can cancel a person’s dog breeder approval and prevent them from breeding dogs. Dogs West can cancel registrations of members, but they don’t have the power to prevent a person from continuing to breed dogs. Only government can do this to ensure Stop Puppy Farming measures are effective.

Unsterilised dogs

Unsterilised dogs can still be kept, only an approval is required by local government. Once an approval is obtained, it continues to be in place indefinitely, allowing owners to keep all current and future dogs unsterilised.

Fact sheets

The following fact sheets provide further information on the Bill:

Overwhelming support was received from Western Australians for the proposed reforms. Further information on what was heard during consultation

Once the bill has been passed, the new proposed laws will come into effect in a staged approach. There will be a lead-in time for a number of the initiatives.

A public awareness campaign will be launched to inform the community on when the initiatives will come into effect and how it will affect different stakeholders.

The election commitment

In 2017, the State Government made a commitment to stop puppy farming and regulate the breeding and sale of dogs in WA.  

Puppy farming is defined as an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs' behavioural, social and/or physiological needs. Puppy farming can include small-scale, as well as large-scale dog breeding operations. 

Puppy farming can lead to extensive long-term health and behavioural issues in dogs.  

The Government proposed to introduce the following provisions to stop puppy farming: 

  • introduce mandatory dog de-sexing for non-breeding dogs
  • introduce a centralised registration system to ensure every dog and puppy can be identified and traced 
  • introduce mandatory standards for dog breeding, housing, husbandry, transport and sale
  • transition pet shops into adoption centres.  

The intention of the proposals is to contribute to a more regulated breeding industry and a reduction in the number of dogs needing rehoming and suffering neglect due to puppy farms.

News

Standards and guidelines for the health and welfare of dogs in WA

As part of the State Government’s stop puppy farming commitment, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is developing standards and guidelines for dog breeding, housing, husbandry, transport and sale.

More information about the standards and guidelines can be found on DPIRD’s website.

Adopt Don't Shop

Stop pupp farming: adopt don't shop

Western Australians are being urged to 'Adopt Don't Shop' and give rescued dogs a second chance by adopting a new household pet.

It is estimated that between 4000 to 5000 dogs are rehomed each year by rehoming organisations and local government pounds.

By adopting a dog, Western Australians can help to reduce the burden on these organisations and ensure a better life for our companion animals.

Currently, the Government provides annual funding to various animal rescue and shelter organisations to support the rescue and re-homing of dogs.

For more information on where you can adopt a pet, contact:

Dogs' Refuge Home WA, Shenton Park

Website dogshome.org.au
Telephone 61 8 9381 8166

RSPCA WA, Malaga  

Website rspcawa.asn.au
Website adoptapet.com.au
Telephone 61 8 9209 9300

Animal Protection Society, Southern River

Website apswa.asn.au
Telephone 61 8 9398 6616
Email info@apswa.asn.au

Swan Animal Haven, Wattle Grove

Website swananimalhaven.asn.au
Telephone 61 8 9293 2047
Telephone 0498 235 680

K9 Rescue Group, Nambeelup

Website k9dogrescue.org.au
Telephone 61 8 9581 9005

SAFE Animal Shelters, WA-wide

Website safe.org.au
For contact details of a relevant branch, visit their website

Page reviewed 06 May 2019