NOT HAPPY: Ray Smith, of Myrtle Creek, with his two top breeding dogs, Cheeky (front) and Rip.
NOT HAPPY: Ray Smith, of Myrtle Creek, with his two top breeding dogs, Cheeky (front) and Rip.

New bill targets breeders of dogs

By ANDY PARKS andy.parks@northernstar.com.au RAY SMITH has been breeding dogs all his life. The retired dairy farmer lives on a property south of Casino and breeds a litter or two of border collie cattle dogs every year.

However, proposed changes to the law relating to the sale of animals means he would have to become a registered breeder before he could sell his puppies.

Legislation introduced into the NSW Parliament by Independent MP Clover Moore would impose restrictions on backyard breeders like Mr Smith, who would either have to become a registered breeder or sell his pups through a vet or animal shelter.

"I don't think it's really a good idea, but if that's the way it is there's nothing much we can do," he said. "If that's to be the law, that's what we'll have to do. I can't see where it's going to benefit us. What's wrong with the way it is?"

Mr Smith's breeding dogs are an eight-year-old sire called Crowsdale Rip and a 10-year-old bitch called Riverview Cheeky. They have had seven litters together.

Mr Smith says he sells the pups to local farmers and others as far away as Victoria and Queensland. At the moment, Mr Smith is able to sell all his pups by word of mouth.

"I don't advertise, they're all sold through dog trials and to people who know me. Often they're ordered before they're even born," he said.

The new Bill, which is not due to be debated until next year, has angered MLC Amanda Fazio. "The Clover Moore Bill effectively puts a stop to an Australian icon, the farm-bred working dog," she said.

However, Ms Moore said the Bill was aimed at stopping unscrupulous breeders and people who bred animals in appalling conditions.

"My Bill aims to address impulse buying and unscrupulous breeding practices. It was never an intention to stop farmers advertising the puppies of working dogs for sale to other farmers, and I am preparing amendments to ensure working dogs are exempt," she said.



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