RSPCA NSW inspections performed at properties in Southern Tablelands

RSPCA NSW inspectors today performed animal trade inspections at two properties located in the Southern Tablelands following reports of animal welfare concerns in relation to up to 120 breeding dogs and puppies.

Eight inspectors, accompanied by an RSPCA ambulance driver and an RSPCA veterinarian, conducted Animal Welfare Code of Practice inspections at the locations.

This operation follows last month’s announcement of RSPCA NSW’s Breeder Compliance Unit, an arm of the Inspectorate which will be dedicated to proactively inspecting companion animal breeders to ensure compliance with the Code of Practice.

The taskforce last month received additional funding from the state government and will be resourced to collect the digital footprint of breeders operating in NSW and enable more frequent inspections of the facilities.

“In NSW, breeder registration is not required by law, making it challenging to keep track of breeders doing the wrong thing. We rely on reports and evidence from the community to investigate complaints,” said RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman.

“Today’s operation is the kind of work the Breeder Compliance Unit will go towards supporting. Every day our understanding of the scope of this problem gets bigger.

“We are providing resources for our inspectors to enforce the Code of Practice, and where necessary require non-compliant facilities to improve their standards.

“By tracking down suspicious Facebook posts and Gumtree ads and working with animal lovers in the community, we are working towards narrowing down the ability of non-compliant facilities to operate undetected.”

This week, NSW Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said he will introduce notice for legislation which will make non-compliant breeders even more accountable for their actions. The legislation will increase maximum penalties for cruelty offences and introduce new powers to ban an individual from ever being allowed to own, care for or breed an animal in NSW.

The proposed penalty increases are:

  • For committing an act of cruelty: fine increased from $5,500 and/or 6 months’ imprisonment to $44,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment for individuals, and $220,000 for corporations.
  • For committing an act of aggravated cruelty: fine increased from $22,000 to $110,000 and/or 2 years’ imprisonment for individuals, and $550,000 for corporations.

For failing to provide proper and sufficient food, drink or shelter: fine increased from $5,500 to $16,500 and/or 6 months’ imprisonment for individuals, and $82,500 for corporations.