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Animal welfare top priority for Baw Baw Shire Council by penalises unregistered breeders and education of responsible pet care

Council adopts proactive measures, penalises unregistered breeders, and conducts inspections to ensure animal welfare, emphasising community involvement and strict enforcement to mitigate risks and promote responsible pet ownership.

By news@gippsland - 21st December 2023 - Back to News

Proactive animal management inspections are just one step that Baw Baw Shire Council is taking to eliminate puppy farming and curb the negative impacts of excess breeding in the local community. Last month, council uncovered and charged a recreational dog breeder from Trafalgar who had 25 unregistered dogs on their property and was also operating an unregistered domestic animal business.

Fifteen breeders faced prosecution for law breaches from the 2021-2025 Animal Management Plan that promotes responsible ownership and safety measures

Fifteen breeders faced prosecution for law breaches from the 2021-2025 Animal Management Plan that promotes responsible ownership and safety measures

Strict animal welfare

The conviction resulted in fines amounting to more than $13,500, with council taking a zero-tolerance approach for any breach of animal welfare. Baw Baw Shire Mayor Cr Annemarie McCabe said that council is proud of its proactive approach towards animal welfare and is steadfastly committed to ensuring that local business owners and breeders are doing the right thing.

Cr McCabe said, "Council makes no apologies for taking a strict approach towards animal welfare. Most people in our community are doing the right thing, but it's part of our job to ensure that those who aren't are held accountable for their actions and that our furry friends are always in the best hands."

"Excessive breeding, keeping too many animals on a property or not keeping your property up to standard poses a significant risk for the community, and it's part of council's responsibility to ensure that our residents are safe," Cr McCabe said.

Pet safety measures

The risks include an increased possibility of dog attacks, opportunities for animals to escape their property (leading to further problems), animal mistreatment and/or neglect, and neighbourly disputes. Throughout 2023, council has inspected more than 100 dog and cat breeding businesses and attended nearly 780 properties to check on unregistered animals. Council has also successfully prosecuted 15 local breeders and animal owners for breaching local laws and the Domestic Animals Acts 1994, with offences related to registration, breeding and dog attacks.

In 2021, Baw Baw Shire adopted the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025, which is currently in its third year. This Plan promotes and encourages responsible pet ownership, aims to minimise the risk of dog attacks, addresses the euthanasia rates for dogs and cats and sets out to manage declared dangerous, menacing or restricted breed dogs, within the municipality.

Get in touch with the council

The Plan was informed via extensive community consultation and can be found on the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 (active from 4 December 2021) website. Cr McCabe encouraged the community to play an active role in animal welfare. "If you know of an unregistered breeder or a business you suspect might be breaching local laws or the Domestic Animals Act 1994, we encourage you to let council know. This can also be done anonymously if you prefer," Cr McCabe said. Visit council's website to determine the best way to get in touch is through Baw Baw Shire Council - Contact us page.

Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.


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