What is life like for a dog in a puppy farm?
Breeding or mother dogs on puppy farms are often continually impregnated to supply a commercial market.
Exposés on puppy farms have shown many breeding dogs suffering painful and untreated health conditions such as eye infections, ear infections, mammary tumours, hip dysplasia and skin infections. Because of the conditions they are held in, many dogs that spend their lives on puppy farms can also develop severe psychological damage. Many dogs rescued from puppy farms experience lifetime mental health issues. Some dogs remain fearful and require extensive rehabilitation to get them to the stage where they can be adopted.
How are puppy farms still able to exist in NSW?
Running a puppy farm, and selling dogs in pet stores, is currently legal in NSW. NSW does not have a breeder licensing or oversight scheme to enable the authorities to identify who is running these puppy farms or where they are located. There is also no legislative cap on the number of breeding dogs a person can have, or the number of litters a dog can be forced to produce.
While the RSPCA recognises puppy farming as a major animal protection issue, they do not know how many exist. A 2015 NSW Parliamentary Inquiry suggested there were upwards of 200 puppy farms across NSW - a number that has likely increased.
Most puppy farms operate in secret and out of public view, making it difficult for enforcement agencies to identify and locate these intensive breeding operations - they rely heavily on individual complaints from the public to track them down. Even then, because puppy farms are not illegal in NSW, enforcement agencies can only intervene and seize the dogs in limited circumstances.
Why is it a problem in NSW?
Victoria recently passed legislation banning puppy farms, and while this is great news, it means many puppy farmers are relocating to NSW where our laws are failing to protect dogs from puppy farming.