What is puppy farming?
- Puppy farms are businesses that breed puppies for profit, often keeping them in inhumane conditions to produce as many puppies as possible.
- Many people think that puppy factories are illegal, however they remain legal in NSW as long as they are registered with the council and have a ‘permit'.
What is life like for a dog in a puppy farm?
- Breeding or mother dogs in puppy farms are confined for the majority of their lives, and in some cases, their entire life. They are continually impregnanted to supply a commercial market.
- Many breeding dogs suffer painful and untreated health conditions; such as eye infections, ear infections, mammary tumours, hip dysplasia and skin infections.
- When a mother dog can no longer produce, she is often killed and replaced.
- Puppy farm dogs are not walked and are deprived of social interaction, companionship, environmental enrichment. They are not given a chance to bond with a human the same way a pet dog in a family home does.
- Dogs that begin and live their lives on puppy farms can develop severe psychological damage and in some cases, even when rescued never fully recover. Some dogs remain fearful and shut down and require extensive rehabilitation to get them to the stage where they can be adopted.
- In many cases puppies born on puppy farms have serious illnesses or genetic defects due to poor breeding practices, with some of them becoming so sick they die before they are sold or shortly after.
- Because of the high number of socialisation and medical issues seen in puppy farm dogs, shelters often receive unwanted dogs born on puppy farms.
How are puppy farms still able to exist in NSW in 2020?
- Put simply, it is because we do not have adequate regulations in NSW to stop them. We have a Code of Practice for Breeding Dogs and Cats, but it is not enforced, and the industry is largely self-regulated.
- We also do not have a comprehensive breeder licensing scheme to enable the authorities to identify who is running these puppy farms or where they are located.
- In fact, while the RSPCA recognises puppy farming as a major animal protection issue, they also report that at present they do not know how many exist. Media reports have suggested there may be upwards of 200 puppy farms across NSW.
- RSPCA NSW, as a private charity, does not have sufficient resources to identify, routinely inspect and prosecute puppy farms. They remain reliant on tip offs and complaints from the public who have seen cruelty firsthand, which rarely occurs given those running puppy farms go out of their way to hide the deplorable conditions from the public.
- Further, the RSPCA can only remove dogs from a puppy farm and prosecute where there is a proven act of animal cruelty, which is difficult given there is a very high threshold.
Why is it a problem in NSW?
- Victoria has recently passed legislation banning puppy farms and Western Australia is moving to do the same. This means many puppy farms are relocating to NSW where our laws are far weaker and allow puppy farming to fly under the radar.
- There is already growing concern in communities bordering Victoria and Queensland of an increasing number of puppy farms being built in the area because running a puppy farm, by itself, is not currently an offence in NSW.
What can I do to help?
- Adopt, don’t shop: Don’t buy from pet shops or online sites like Gumtree. Every dog adopted from a shelter or pound reduces the demand for puppy farms, and you will be giving a rescue dog a home!
- Spread the word: By spreading the word and raising awareness about the reality of puppy farms, you’ll be saving the lives of dogs in pounds and shelters AND putting an end to this cruel industry.
- Become a member of the Animal Justice Party: By becoming a member you’ll be joining thousands of people across NSW demanding a ban on puppy farms here in NSW. CLICK HERE to join today.