The Baird Government and puppy factories: Don't be cruel

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Waiting for someone to do something, note the exposed nail above their heads (Image: Oscar' Law)

The Second NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into puppy farms has just been completed. This time, Peter Wicks urges Mike Baird to adopt, rather than ignore's, the Committee's recommendations.

Animal welfare group Oscar’s Law exposed a nauseating puppy factory almost a year ago.

As a result of this exposure, the Second Parliamentary Inquiry from the NSW Coalition Government was announced and has now completed. We await to see if, unlike last time, the Government accepts its recommendations, as pathetically weak as they may be.

Around a month ago, Oscar’s Law returned to that same puppy factory to find conditions had deteriorated even further.

The RSPCA were powerless, the NSW Government gutless, the local member Adam Marshall pointless and dogs continuing to swelter and suffer in 43 degree heat with no shelter or clean water.

Something had to give.

Oscar’s Law, Fairfax and yours truly defied new Ag-Gag laws that were put in place to censor information of this kind, making sure the message was out there and these animals’ cries could be heard. Oscar's Law went a step further, launching an online petition that has been signed now by close to 100,000 people.

Despite all of this, the NSW Coalition have refused to act.

Now someone is taking a stand on behalf of all those who were left shocked and appalled at the woeful spectre of dogs being treated so savagely for the sake of supplying pet stores and online classifieds.

Yesterday, Mick Veitch, NSW Labor’s Shadow Minister For Primary Industries, Land and Water gave notice of a motion in NSW Parliament. The motion is to amend the relevant Bill that will then allow the RSPCA to seize animals being held in conditions that violate the industry code of practice by unregistered puppy factories.

While this is just a motion of notice of an amendment bill and doesn’t necessarily mean the amendments will pass, should they pass it will make a huge difference to unregistered puppy factories across NSW. These scoundrels are infamous for their tax-free incomes whilst still collecting social security and their willingness to embrace cruelty for the sake of cash. Under these amendments, they would be forced to clean up or lose their dogs and their income.

As Mick Veitch stated yesterday:

“This bill will force breeders to reach the standards that describe the welfare and care requirements for breeding dogs and cats, or risk the removal of animals if they fail to comply."

To put things into perspective, had these amendments been in place already, the aforementioned dogs at the puppy factory Oscar’s Law exposed would have been seized in April last year, after they were originally exposed. Right now, they would be more than likely a part of someone’s family rather than imprisoned in some fetid wasteland just so someone can squeeze a buck out of their suffering.

According to Shadow Minister Veitch:

“More can be done and must be done to assist animal welfare enforcement agencies, such as the RSPCA, to intervene in circumstances where the welfare of animals is at risk."

So what can you do to help?

Contact your local State MP if you live in NSW and ensure they understand a vote against this amendment is a vote for continued suffering.

If you don’t live in NSW, never mind, you can spread the word on social media by spreading the word of just how important these amendments are.

And of course, if you haven’t already signed the online petition, that’s something simple you can do — after all, every signature helps.

It is crucial these amendments are passed so as to ensure a better standard of animal welfare across NSW.

While I’m sure they will be some who say it doesn’t go far enough, it's worth remembering that every step forward is a positive step and one that should be encouraged. It also needs to be remembered that these changes are being sought by an opposition, not the government.

There are many within the Liberal Party who are also opposed to the factory farming of companion animals and, while these amendments won’t see an end to puppy factories, it will certainly have a major impact on cleaning it up considerably.

Mick Veitch’s statement yesterday finished on this note:

“I urge the Baird Government to support Labor’s legislation to ensure this serious gap in our laws is corrected and show they are serious about the welfare of animals in NSW.”

I couldn’t agree more.

So far, all we have seen from the Baird Government is procrastination and all we have heard are hollow words and empty promises. Now the Government has a chance to finally make the difference they said they would and all they have to do is vote "yes".

Surely they can manage that.

Peter Wicks is an ALP member and former NSW State Labor candidate. You can follow Peter on Twitter @madwixxy.

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