The New South Wales government is set to crack down on 'cowboy breeders' running puppy farms using a newly-created task force.
They will join forces with the RSPCA, which will see inspectors conducting compliance checks on dog breeders throughout the state.
According to the Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, the Puppy Factory Taskforce will be tasked with 'weeding out' puppy farms that exploit 'animals for their own commercial profit'.
"My message today is clear - to the cowboy breeders doing the wrong thing, this is your last warning," he said in a statement.
"The new taskforce will consist of four new RSPCA inspectors [six in total] who will exclusively spend their time inspecting breeding facilities across the state, ensuring they meet the NSW Government's robust animal welfare requirements."
"Their sole job will be to travel up and down across the state, raiding, weeding out and putting before the courts, these cowboys, these grubs that are operating these puppy factories in contravention of the law and also exploiting animals for their own commercial profit.
"They will be caught, they will be busted and they will have the full force of the law thrown at them. This is a massive beefing up of compliance activity, by particularly the RSPCA."
According to the minister, the coronavirus pandemic has seen a rise in people seeking animal companions, which led to a rise in backyard breeders selling puppies at inflated prices.
"They [the new taskforce] will be working with intelligence officers who will actually be monitoring, every single day, a lot of online activity, which seems to be the domain now that these black market operators like to operate across," Mr Marshall said.
"They like to operate on pages like Facebook, selling sites like Gumtree and other websites of that nature. What's driving an increase in the number of these backyard factories happening is the commercial sale value for companion animals has increased markedly in the last 12 months.
"Sadly there are people breeding the animals that are not adhering to the rules and looking to take advantage of the increasing prices.
"Most pet owners would be horrified to find out their beloved pets came from a banned puppy factory, so these new measures will help to provide added comfort to those thinking of bringing a fury friend into their family."
Currently, breeders who are caught breaking the law can result in their animals being seized, fines issued of up to $22,000 and jail time of up to two years per offence. RSPCA Inspectors have carried out 22 raids so far this year, with CEO Steve Coleman said the crackdown was a 'win for animal welfare'.
"But also a win for all the breeders across the state who are doing the right thing and who care very deeply for the animals they work with," he said.
"This funding will help ensure our animals are well-cared for, and that anyone who does try to cut corners with regard to their welfare will have enforcement action taken against them."
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read