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Dog breeders angry over Vic puppy laws

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016 Helen Velissaris

A Victorian dog breeder says they might be forced to close down if proposed laws limiting the amount of dogs they can have passes parliament.

New laws introduced into state parliament this week will seek to reduce the number of fertile female dogs a breeder can keep from as many as 350 to just 10 by 2020.

Large-scale country dog breeders, Banksia Park, say the new limit number is "arbitrary" and will put jobs at risk.

"(The bill) will punish ethical, transparent and regulated dog breeding businesses such as ours, while doing little to actually stop the practice of 'puppy farming'," Banksia Park said in a statement on Tuesday.

They say the government's approach will lead to a "proliferation of backyard breeders".

Within the proposed laws, any Victorian keeping fertile female dogs or cats and selling their puppies and kittens will need to register with their council as a domestic animal breeder.

"We don't want to shift this problem from large-scale factory farming to dodgy backyard breeders either," Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford told reporters on Tuesday.

"So the arrangements will be one-size-fits-all."

Pet shops will also be banned from selling puppies and kittens unless the animals have come from a registered pound, animal shelter or foster carer by 2017.

RSPCA has welcomed the proposed changes, saying it is a starting point "for a great step forward in animal welfare".

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