Labor calls for crackdown on regional puppy farms
REGIONAL areas have become a breeding ground for unscrupulous puppy farms as operators hide behind the internet to avoid detection.
The RSPCA believes the Gympie and Kingaroy regions have proven popular for these ventures which involve female dogs being exploited to have many more litters than normal to make more money.
They are prime locations because they are driving distance to Brisbane which is where operators usually take the puppies after placing ads on the internet.
New owners, who usually pay more than $800, never know where these puppies have come from.
Hair loss, no human contact and genetic disorders from in-breeding are among the consequences of these puppy farms.
The RSPCA and Dogs Queensland estimate there could be more than 100 puppy farms across regional areas.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said these farms condemned dogs to unnecessary suffering and miserable existence.
She said Mackay MP Tim Mulherin was on the verge of introducing legislation to stamp them out before Labor lost government.
"It is time to put Queensland at the forefront of the fight to make it more difficult for unscrupulous operators to profit from cruel practices and the abject misery of defenceless dogs," she said.
The proposal, which have support from Dogs Queensland and the RSPCA, includes mandatory consultation of intensive dog breeders, regular monitoring and compulsory microchipping.
"When the dogs can no longer breed they are killed and replaced," Mr Mulherin said.
The Opposition has launched an online petition on the Queensland Parliament website today calling on the government to revive the legislation at the earliest opportunity.
Dogs Queensland liaison officer Mark Sheppard said puppy farming was an abhorrent, hideous industry and he hoped the Newman Government would take the opportunity to stop it.
"For a dog person coming from this purebred pedigree dog world to see the conditions, to see the repetitive breeding, to see no real care and attention to those poor bitches ... really does just tear at your heart strings," he said.
But Premier Campbell Newman said he did not think there was a need for specific laws.
He said Queensland already had tough animal protection laws.
"The best way of stamping out puppy farms is for people to only buy puppies from accredited industry pet shops," he said.
"Anybody who is operating an inhumane puppy farm right now, if they're reported, I can assure people we will go after them."