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.

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

Proposed new laws 

Following consultation with the community, the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2019 has been drafted and will be introduced into Parliament in the coming weeks.

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

More information on the proposed changes will be made available on this website when the Bill is introduced to Parliament.

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

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. 

Consultation

The department, in partnership with the local government sector and industry stakeholders, released a consultation paper on the Government's proposals in May 2018.

The department undertook consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and held community workshops across Western Australia.

Consultation on the proposals closed in August 2018.

The department received 4754 submissions from dog owners, dog breeders, dog trainers, local governments, pet shops, and rescue organisations.  

The summary consultation report and consultation report provide information on the overall feedback heard during feedback. 

Online and interview surveys

Respondents could provide feedback on the stop puppy farming proposals in a variety of ways, including by:

  • attending a workshop
  • completing an online survey
  • participating in an interview survey at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk 2018 and/ or the Western Australian Local Government Association Convention 2018 
  • providing a written submission
  • completing the public submission form.

3,944 submissions were received from respondents that undertook an online survey or interview survey. 

The results of the feedback from the online survey and interview surveys has been compiled into the Stop Puppy Farming Community Consultation Report.

 

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.

Stop pupp farming: adopt don't shop

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 4000-5000 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

Related resources

Written submissions

In addition to the online survey and interview surveys, community members and stakeholders were also invited to respond to the consultation in various written forms, including by completing a public submission form, responding to supplementary targeted surveys, or providing other written feedback. 810 submissions were received in these forms.

The written submissions can be downloaded below. Many respondents indicated that they would like their submission to remain confidential and these submissions have not been published.

Page reviewed 06 May 2019