Changes are a threat to hobby pet breeders

Cowra's Lucy Newham with one of her Murray Grey cattle.

Cowra's Lucy Newham with one of her Murray Grey cattle.

A prominent member of Cowra’s livestock industry believes proposed changes to NSW’s pet breeding and pet shop codes will have negative impact on hobby breeders, imposing the same onerous restrictions on them as cattle breeders.

Cowra’s Lucy Newham who breeds Murray Grey cattle is fearful the State Government is going down the same path it did with the livestock industry and hobby pet breeders will be swept away by bureaucratic changes aimed at catching out the five per cent of people who are doing the wrong thing.

NSW Minister for Primary Industry Niall Blair says the changes are designed to update existing breeding and pet shop codes but pet owners aren’t convinced.

According to a Change.org petition the current wording of the proposed legislation directly aims at depriving individuals rights to keep animals instead of its intended and applauded aim of improving animal welfare.

Ms Newham is calling on the National Party to consider the impact of the changes when it meets in Cowra this week.

She says the livestock changes have placed onerous restrictions on the industry and pet owners may face similar levels of red tape.

“We can’t just take cattle to a local show anymore,” Ms Newham said.

“You’ve got to do OHS, filling in forms all of the time.

“We have to do courses with consultants who are just text book people, courses all of the time.

“Then they think you’re going to forget it so you have to do it every two years, for chemicals, for health.

“It’s just red tape.

“If you want to breed a dozen budgies you’re going to have to do a TAFE course.

“You’ll have to fill in feeding regimes.

“It sounds ridiculous but it’s what’s happened in the livestock industry.

“You have to have regulation but state government is just adding so many layers.

“Most genuine people want to see bad breeders stamped out, but this is not the way to do it, regulating the other 95 per cent out.

“You won’t even be able to give away chickens to a school,” Ms Newham said.

Details of the proposed draft regulations

If a member of the public is classified as a "pet shop owner" because they sell, trade or donate an animal or they breed animals for sale they would be required to:

  • get TAFE Cert 2 training;
  • document every sale and every birth;
  • develop 21 written procedures relating to the feeding of animals, the assessment of their wellbeing, the administration of the pet shop, etc;
  • they would also be required to keep registers, directories, training manuals, and meet standards governing signage, cage size minimums, etc.

If you want to have input to the process, you can send a submission to animal.welfare@dpi.nsw.gov.au