By Rebecca Peppiatt
A REPUTABLE Mount Helena dog breeder and international show judge has criticised part of a state law introduced last week that is aiming to put an end to puppy farming.
Myra Thomas-Rhodes, who has been a dog breeder in the Hills for 50 years, said while she and fellow professional breeders welcomed the decision to ban horrific puppy farms, the new proposed law was confusing and didn’t take into consideration those that were doing the right thing.
“The government has not listened to what the breeders of dogs actually do,” she said.
“What goes on with puppy farming has been appalling around the world, but we are going to suffer more than the puppy farming people.”
The Stop Puppy Farming legislation passed through the lower house on August 18, with the aim of regulating the dog breeding industry in WA.
Part of the bill includes mandatory dog sterilisation, the transition of pet shops into adoption centres, a centralised registration program and de-muzzling of greyhounds.
Mrs Thomas-Rhodes and her husband breed and show Labradors, Irish and English Setters at Amhurst Kennels.
She said the knock-on effects of the law change would be huge.
“I think long term, the government isn’t thinking,” she said of the decision to sterilise all dogs.
“If everything is sterilised then no one will get any puppies later on.
“The pet industry will suffer.”
The centralised registration system will be monitored by individual local councils.
Mrs Thomas-Rhodes said other states had listened to the dog industry and introduced laws that were understanding of reputable breeders, while the West Australian government had been “gung-ho” in their approach to the details.
“Us in WA are the ones that are going to suffer,” she said.
“The others have listened to the dog world, but this government hasn’t.
“It’s just, let’s stop puppy farming at all costs.”