Australia is failing to protect the animals we as a nation love most.

In one in three Australian households the family is not complete without a beloved dog. But they may have received very little love before they joined our families.

A lack of mandatory animal welfare standards for dog breeders and failure to clamp down on unscrupulous breeders* make it possible for puppy mills and backyard breeders to continue their operations unhindered. Dogs in these facilities are often kept in small pens with no quality of life and a lack of veterinary care. They have no ability to exercise, socialise, play or interact with humans. In many cases puppies from such facilities have already developed long-term behavioural or health problems as a result of the poor conditions they are bred in before they find a home.

Mother dogs may suffer years in isolation, with their babies taken away from them when they are only a few weeks old. They are kept in a cycle of breeding until they can no longer produce enough puppies to be profitable. Only few are lucky enough to be offered to a good home, with breeders legally allowed to shoot their dogs.

*Minimum animal welfare standards for breeders are currently only in place in Victoria and NSW. And only Victoria and the ACT have laws that require breeders to be registered. In Victoria this only applies to breeders with more than 3 fertile dogs, or, for members of an ‘applicable breeding organisation’ such as Dogs Victoria, to breeders with more than 10 fertile dogs. 

Our thanks to Animals Australia for this article.