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Minister Directs New Approach For Breeders And Pet Shops

The NSW Government today announced that it will start again on the development of new draft welfare standards and guidelines (S&G’s) for pet shops and breeders of cats and dogs.

Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said that after listening to the feedback from stakeholders he has directed his department to go back and to develop a new way forward, which will be spearheaded by a newly created role of NSW Chief Animal Welfare Officer.

“Over the last four months, we consulted stakeholders across the board and what we heard was that the draft S&G’s proposed were missing the mark,” Mr Blair said.

“I want the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to start again.  I have asked them to work from the ground up and to make sure we are clearer about the objectives we are trying to meet.

“The draft S&G’s aimed to improve welfare outcomes for pets. Despite DPI’s best intentions, they acknowledge that the drafts, as they were presented, would have had unintended consequences for some pet owners, breeders and traders.

“My department is committed to a renewed approach and the new Chief Animal Welfare Officer will drive engagement and ensure a meaningful discussion is had with all stakeholders.

“This change in approach does not diminish our commitment to ensuring that companion animals breeding practices are safe, ethical and meet community expectations.”

The NSW Government has committed to launch a new and improved pet register later this year, which will streamline registration and improve how animal welfare agencies track and record pet breeding businesses

DPI will also review the advisory committees that provide advice to the Government on animal welfare issues to ensure they’re structured properly and most importantly, meeting community expectations.

In the interim, the existing codes, which have been in place for a decade, will continue to apply.

MEDIA: Evie Madden | Minister Blair | 0409 682 163