Electorate Press Releases



$6 million funding boost for RSPCA to shut down cruel, illegal breeders

Press Releases

The Victorian Coalition Government is providing RSPCA Victoria with a $6 million funding boost to help establish a Special Investigation Unit to shut down cruel and illegal puppy and kitten breeding businesses.

Member for South Eastern Metropolitan Region Gordon Rich-Phillips said the extra funding would help RSPCA officers to enforce their increased powers to inspect and shut down illegal breeding businesses, which were granted by the Victorian Coalition Government in August.

“The Coalition Government will not tolerate the disgraceful practices of rogue puppy and kitten breeders in Victoria,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“This additional $6 million will help RSPCA authorised officers to target unlawful breeding operations across the state as we work together with local councils to wipe out cruel and illegal breeders.

“The first allocation of $1.5 million will be paid immediately, and includes a grant for the purchase of specialised equipment and new vehicles which help RSPCA seize animals from illegal businesses. In March there will be a subsequent allocation of $750,000, followed by allocations of $1.5 million, $1.25 million and $1 million respectively in the next three financial years.”

Mr Rich-Phillips said the Victorian Coalition Government had also listened to community concerns and had updated the mandatory Breeding and Rearing Code to include a finite five litter limit and compulsory post-birthing vet checks for female dogs.

“The Code was already the most comprehensive in the world, with mandatory requirements for animal health records, retirement plans and compulsory annual vet checks for breeding animals, and these changes strengthen it even further,” he said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to protecting the welfare of companion animals in Victoria and driving cruel and illegal breeders out of business. There is no place for those kinds of disgraceful practices in our state.”

He said the Victorian Coalition Government had done more in four years to stamp out cruelty and illegal breeders than the previous Labor government ever attempted.

“Labor ignored calls from the community to act on animal welfare for 11 years, allowing animal cruelty and illegal puppy and kitten farms to get out of control in Victoria.“Under Labor the fine for illegal puppy farms was just $1195 – the Coalition Government has increased that to up to $88,566 for an incorporated business. 
“I am proud the Liberal-National Coalition Government has had the heart to address what Labor failed to act on for 11 years.”

Since 2011 the Victorian Coalition Government has:

• Introduced the toughest breeding code in Australia: more than 100 prescriptions breeders must follow including litter limits, mandatory vet checks and specified requirements for housing, nutrition, socialisation and staffing ratios.

• Imposed explicit bans on blunt force trauma as a method of euthanasia and the use of wire floor cages at breeding businesses.

• Increased fines for aggravated cruelty to up to $72,624 or two years’ jail for individuals.

• Increased fines for running an illegal breeding business or for not complying with the mandatory breeding code to $36,312 for individuals and $88,566 for incorporated businesses.

• Introduced court-imposed penalties where people can be banned for up to 10 years from working with or owning animals if convicted of aggravated cruelty, running an unregistered business or non-compliance with the mandatory breeding code.

• Introduced a ‘fit and proper person’ test for people who want to register a domestic animal breeding business. People who plead guilty to animal cruelty offences cannot run a breeding business for 10 years.

• Introduced mandatory record keeping for pet shops to ensure animal traceability for all puppies and kittens sold.

• Introduced the $1.6 million Animal Welfare Fund, which is helping not-for-profit groups to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome abandoned companion animals.

• Revoked the ‘28 day’ rule, meaning shelters are no longer forced to euthanise animals not claimed within 28 days. 
Media contacts: Cathy Stanislawski / Janet Cummings 9794 7667
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