The Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall, could simply put a stop to Puppy Farming, a practice he is reported as being 'vehemently opposed' to (The Express, 15 December).
The article reports Animal Liberation's regional campaign coordinator observing of a local Puppy Farm: "Here we are five years later and nothing has changed - the same puppy factory has continued to 'legally' operate under the nose of Mr Marshall, his government and the relevant authorities and has again been raided with the owner again appearing in the Inverell Court recently on 26 new charges."
On 17 June 2020 Emma Hurst (MLC) introduced a motion concerning Puppy Farms into the NSW Legislative Council. The motion reads:
(1) That this House notes that:
(a) the RSPCA has recognised that the cruel and exploitative treatment of dogs in large-scale commercial breeding operations, sometimes referred to as 'puppy farms', is a major animal protection issue;
(b) while other States such as Victoria and Western Australia have introduced tough new laws to stop overbreeding and make puppy farming illegal, New South Wales has failed to take action; and
(c) there is a risk that puppy farmers from other States will move their operations over to New South Wales.
(2) That this House acknowledges the need to address the problem of puppy farms in New South Wales.
In speaking to the motion, Emma Hurst MLC summarised the appalling conditions suffered by bitches on 'puppy farms'; the RSPC's lack of resources and prosecutorial power and her knowledge of farms moving into NSW from states which have banned Puppy Factories.
Just a month ago the ABC reported, 'A total of 120 dogs have been rescued after two alleged puppy farms were raided in southern NSW by the RSPCA. Eight RSPCA inspectors were involved in the raid, as well as a veterinarian' here.
The NSW Government's Select Committee on Animal Cruelty in NSW, delivered 14 recommendations to Mr Marshall. The Government's response is, at the very best, cursory: seven recommendations were 'noted', four were 'not supported', three were noted/consideration linked to Animal Welfare Acton Plan.
It is difficult to understand how the Minister could object to the Inquiry's recommendations to establish an Independent Office of Animal Protection (IOAP) and a specialist animal cruelty investigative unit within NSW Police; to move responsibility for animal welfare matters from the Department of Primary Industries; and to conduct an annual parliamentary public hearing into the charities and government departments responsible for enforcing anti-cruelty laws.
The Minister for Agriculture tries to paint objections to Puppy Factories as coming from a city-centric, anti-farming fringe. This is simply not the case. The motion introduced by Emma Hurst (referred to above) was passed by the NSW Legislative Council by a clear majority of five votes.
It lies in his power to put an end to this barbarous practice.