18 Apr 2018, 3 p.m.
Government has announced that it will start again on the development of new draft welfare standards and guidelines for pet shops and breeders of cats and dogs.
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said that after listening to the feedback from stakeholders he has directed his department to go back and to develop a new way forward, which will be spearheaded by a newly-created Chief Animal Welfare Officer.
“Despite DPI’s best intentions, they acknowledge that the drafts, as they were presented, would have had unintended consequences for some pet owners, breeders and traders,” Mr Blair said.
“Over the last four months, we consulted stakeholders across the board and what we heard was that the draft S&G’s proposed were missing the mark,” Mr Blair said.
In the interim, the existing codes, which have been in place for a decade, will continue to apply.
Last month DPI committed to a new round of consultation after breeders widely labelled the proposed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Standards and Guidelines a dog’s breakfast.
The state’s coalition of 18 working dog groups argued the changes - as they stood - had no relation to the realities of stock work and life on a farm and, in some cases, went against generations of breeding and dog handling wisdom.
Chief concerns were the required ratio of trained staff to animal numbers, animal housing requirements, transport, record-keeping and transfer of ownership.
These were shared by NSW Farmers.