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Implications of banning sales of live animals in pet stores


All MDBA Breeders agree to our code of ethics that states they will not sell their puppies to pet shops. The MDBA believe that it is better for dogs to be sold by a breeder directly to a buyer to reduce the likelihood of that puppy entering the shelter system.


This method provides education, support and develops the relationship between the puppy buyer and the breeder that gives the dog the best chance at living in a forever home with people who love it. Banning the sales of puppies in pet shop will have no impact whatever on our breeders and it would in fact benefit our breeders by cutting down the competition.


However, the MDBA believes the banning of puppies from pet shops would have unintended consequences.


1.      Banning the sale of puppies from pet shops will increase the demand for puppies from other sources, some of which may be less reputable than pet shops.


2.      Not everyone who sells puppies to pet shops is unscrupulous nor have they all kept their dogs in substandard conditions as animal rights activist would have us believe.  Some breeders who supply pet shops do have the welfare of their animals as a priority.  If pet shops were regulated and were obligated to keep records of the source of their puppies then any issues could be addressed with either the pet shop or the breeder.


3.      Some people will always purchase dogs without due care whether it be from a pet shop, a shelter or a breeder.  There is no evidence to suggest that those owners who make an impulse buy are any less responsible than an owner who researches and waits for a puppy and there is no evidence that those impulse buy puppies are more likely to end up in a shelter than puppies that have been purchased after much thought on their owner’s behalf. Any point of sale is capable of seeing impulse sales.


4.      There is no conclusive unbiased data to determine that more or less pet shop puppies end up homeless, or that more or less pet shop puppies have health or behavioural issues than any other source.


5.      Breeders who sell volume sales to pet shops, produce more puppies and have more repeat sales if their animals are happy and healthy and meet their new owner’s expectations.  It is not commercially smart nor does it help good production for them to treat their animals cruelly and lose their market due to their puppies being inferior.


6.      If those breeders can no longer sell to pet shops sales they will sell their puppies through other un-regulated sources.


7.      For those people who either have the occasional litter or an unplanned/mistake litters, if they cannot sell to pet shops they will need to find an alternate way to place their puppies.  They may give them away, sell them without microchips and vaccinations, dump them in shelters or euthanize them.


8.      If the intended purpose of this proposal is to stop breeders who breed animals in substandard conditions this measure is highly unlikely to have any positive impact on the welfare of those dogs or the puppies they breed. The breeders who sell to pet shops will simply find an alternative way to sell their puppies because removing the sale of puppies from pet shops will not address the demand for puppies or in any way address the issue of irresponsible dog owners.


9.      It restricts the ability of the consumer to purchase a puppy of their choice from a source of their choice and restricts the trade of the commercial breeder and pet shop owner. Removing someone’s rights is a serious matter especially when they have done nothing illegal or cruel and this needs to be given very serious consideration.


10.  Regulations and consumer accountability for pet shops at least ensures those puppies which are sold via this source are in good health at the time of sale.


11.  Removal of sales of puppies from pet shops will not increase the demand for rescue or shelter dogs and will simply see consumers finding puppies from other sources.


12.  If the sale of puppies in pet shops is banned in this gives the pet shops in other states an advantage over pet shops in Victoria  and it removes the rights of the breeder and the pet shop owner to earn a living in an activity which is still considered to be a legal pastime and occupation.


Whilst we would prefer that no puppies were sold via pet shops we believe there is not enough evidence to suggest that any dogs will be better off by removing this market for them and before any person’s rights are  removed there needs to be more unbiased research done.

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