Don’t let them take our pets away!

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This Petition can be sent to:
  1. Premier,
    Hon Daniel Andrews
  2. Deputy Premier,
    Hon James Merlino
  3. Agriculture Minister,
    Hon Jaala Pulford
  4. Or,
    Your Local Member

The purpose of this website is to inform, to bring to the public attention and form the as yet untold side of this debate. This information allows informed decision making and an understanding of what is at stake.

  • Do we want to maintain the right to dog/puppy ownership?
  • Do we want to maintain a right to choose a dog/puppy that suits us?
  • De we want that dog/puppy at an affordable price and in a timely timeframe?
  • Do we want to improve animal welfare, or gradually remove animals from society?
  • Do we want to maintain the well documented human health benefits of pet ownership?
  • Do “animal lovers” want to interact with animals, or have them gradually removed?
  • Do we have a vision of what society will look like without animals in it?

These are the choices and questions that need to be asked and answered before we can rationally decide whether to support the governments proposed legislation, or NOT.

Petition by,
People Need Pets

The Facts

1. In October 2016 the Victorian State Labour government attempted to pass legislation, the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Bill 2016”

2. The legislation triggered an Upper House Parliamentary inquiry. Recommendations from that inquiry stated;

Recommendation 7 – That the government abandon the 10 fertile female limit proposed in the ‘Domestic Animals (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Amendment Bill 2016’. ( The chair makes specific and special mention of this point in his foreword of the parliamentary report, regarding its lack of supporting scientific evidence).

Recommendation 9 – That the government allow pet shops to continue to sell domestic animals from ethical domestic animal breeders.

The Victorian State Labour government indicates it intends to continue to attempt to pass amended legislation, resulting in;

a) Banning the sale of pups and kittens in pet stores

b) Restricting dog breeders to a maximum of 10 fertile females

Both outcomes desired  by the government directly conflict with the findings and subsequent recommendations of the extensive evidence based upper house inquiry.

3. Jobs will be lost as pet stores and larger registered compliant breeding facilities close. Consequent reductions in state dog population numbers will negatively impact jobs, incomes, and GST collections from ancillary businesses including, dog boarding, dog training, doggy day cares, grooming parlours, dog walkers, veterinary clinics, dog food/product/merchandise sales (pet stores/chains).

4. Puppy prices will rise due to reduced puppy supply.

5. Waiting times will rise due to reduced puppy supply.

6. Crossbred breed availability will diminish due to legislative restrictions, and breeding facility closures.

7. Consumer choice will diminish to either purebred/pedigree breeders, shelter/adoption, or the unregulated internet.

8. Genetics dictates that increasing pure-breeding in a population increases “fixing” of recessive genes, and increases recessive genetic disease expression and prevalence. This legislation will degrade animal welfare by increasing genetic disease expression in the dog population. To improve dog population welfare, contrary to the proposed legislation, we should be encouraging cross breeding, and its’ subsequent “hybrid vigour”, rather than legislating to minimise/remove it.

9. Puppy sales will be shifted from the heavily regulated and visible pet store market, to the largely unregulated internet sales market sector.

The Politics

1. Animal Welfare vs Animal Rights

Animal welfare (wiki 23/6/17, 122 pages) “the well-being of animals”.  The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) defines welfare as, “An animal is in a good state of welfare if it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear and distress.” In a nutshell, improvement of the management of animals under our care.

Animal rights {wiki 23/6/17, 306 pages} “…that animals should not be regarded as property and any use of animals by humans is unacceptable.” And that “….the perception of better animal welfare facilitates continued and increased exploitation of animals.” That animals are NOT OURS to eat, wear, experiment on, “use” for entertainment, or “abuse” in any other way.  Indeed pet “ownership” is philosophically impossible if the pet is “not ours”!!!. This disturbing philosophy underpins the proposed pet store ban.

The complexity of understanding the difference between animal welfare and animal rights is indicated by the size of the wiki definitions (122 pages and 306 pages respectively)

Put simply, animal welfare outlines how to  better manage the animals under our care, animal rights outlines how we should remove the animals under our care thereby removing the inherent  cruelty and suffering associated with pet ownership. That animal welfare facilitates animal cruelty. The proposed legislation takes a step towards reducing numbers/removing dogs from society. It is being “sold” as animal welfare legislation. We must decide whether this legislation is animal welfare driven or animal rights driven, as the final consequences are potentially dramatic. The definitions will allow each of us to decide

We as a society must quickly become aware of the difference between the two. We  must make informed choices as to whether we want animals to be a part of our society, childhoods, and  lives, OR to allow them to be gradually removed.

2. “Puppies Don’t Belong In Pet Shops”

Intellectual conversation regarding animal welfare and this legislation, is often finally responded to with the above statement. This is not a statement based on evidence or animal welfare, it is a philosophical, subjective, political and animal rights  statement.

3. Broken Promises

The Victorian State Labour government has repeatedly indicated it will press ahead with this legislation, to fulfill pre-election  promises made to animal rights groups, not promises made to the Victorian people as the minister states. Indeed the first legislation table in 2016, written by the labour state government advised and consulted by animal rights activists protected by confidentiality agreements (see minutes of upper house inquiry). Industry and associated bodies were excluded from the draft legislation process).  Similarly, the public is outraged at the perceived attempted destruction of the CFA, yet the government continues regardless as a result of pre election promises made to special interest groups/unions.

4. Prepare For The Wait

What happens when “shelter/rescue” run out of dogs? Reduced breeding via legislation, reduced dog numbers and ownership, reduced numbers of surrender/strays at shelters. Sounds good, except adoption/rescue is one of the two legislatively proposed outlets for sourcing a dog.  We could import “stray/rescue” from other states/countries as happens in USA, Canada, etc and force our community to “rescue/adopt” them. (Canadian veterinary health officials say…”It’s estimated , in fact, that tens of thousands of winsome canine refugees enter the country every year.”) But what of our right to choose the breed/Xbreed and age of a puppy, at an affordable cost, without having to be on a 2-3 year wait list, for our children, families and ourselves?

5. The Choice Will Diminish

If you want the right to choose a scruffy faced terrier cross, a Labrador cross, an energetic Jack Russel Terrier cross, you will be severely restricted/unable to source one. These are the types of dogs the proposed legislation will target and largely  remove from the dog population. Do we want our right to choose a puppy, other than a pedigree pup, to be legislated away?

6. Reducing Animal Welfare

Dr Scott Marshall DVM, State Veterinarian for Rhode-Island says,

“…. Although many pet lovers believe the problem with puppy mills have been largely solved by closing the pet stores that sold puppies, in reality, the problem’s become worse.”

“At least the brick and mortar stores could be inspected and regulated.”

“…..But now its all being done underground behind a virtual curtain….”

Dr Marshall is telling us, from experience, that closing pet stores reduces rather than improves animal welfare. It makes no sense for our government to persue a proven failed model.

7. It’s Getting Worse

Sustained attacks that attempt to remove animals from our communities range from horseracing, greyhound racing, to tourist horse and buggy rides, from attempts to shut the meat industry, to now attempting to commence the road towards removing our dogs. Will budgerigars and goldfish be next?

8. The Real Truth

Animal rights groups, and government, are misleading the community. Animal rights agends are being cloaked and “sold” as animal welfare agendas. We are being fed misinformation….”fake news”.


Puppy Farm and Pet Shops Bill Domestic Animals Amendment Bill 2017

The Victorian State Labour government attempted to pass legislation, the “Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Bill 2016”.

Recommendations Domestic Animals Amendment Bill 2017

The Committee’s resulting report was published and contained 31 recommendations. As well as suggesting reforms to the restricted breed dog legislation, the inquiry made a number of recommendations about responsible pet ownership, dangerous dogs and greyhounds.

The Parliamentary Enquiry Domestic Animals Amendment Bill 2017

The Parliamentary Inquiry into the legislative and regulatory framework relating to restricted breed dogs was established.

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