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1 Membership
1.1 Applications for Membership.
1.1.1 Membership Categories
1.1.2 Membership Eligibility
1.1.3 Membership Criteria
1.1.4 Application Process
1.1.5 Applicant Pre-Membership Behaviour
1.2 Membership Quality Controls
1.2.1 Membership Standards
1.2.2 Quality Strategies
2 Complaints against MDBA Members
2.1 Complaints Criteria
2.2 Complaints Process
2.3 MDBA Standards Oversight Committee (SOC)
2.3.1 Committee Composition
2.3.2 Committee Role
2.3.3 Disciplinary Action
2.3.4 Appeals Process
3 Member Responsibilities
3.1 Breeder Members
3.1.1 Responsibilities
3.1.2 Canine Breeding Goals
3.1.3 Pet Shops
3.2 Rescue Members
3.2.1 Responsibilities
3.3 Responsible Pet Owner (RPO)
3.3.1 Responsibilities

 

1.1 Applications for Membership

1.1.1 Membership Categories

The MDBA has the following Member categories:

·         Breeder

·         Professional

·         Rescue

·         Responsible Pet Owner

·         Smart Dog Owner Member 

1.1.2 Membership Eligibility

People can become a MDBA Member only if they:

1.       Agree to abide by the MDBA Code of Conduct related to their membership category

2.       Have never been convicted of any animal cruelty charge

3.       Are not currently under investigation for animal cruelty offence

4.       Purchase a puppy or a dog from an MDBA Breeder member or an MDBA Rescue Group. This does not provide full membership status.

5.       Purchase and enrol in a MDBA course. This does not provide full MDBA Membership status.

1.1.3 Membership Criteria

The criteria for each MDBA membership categories are:

1.       Breeder Member

This membership category is for people who are involved in the activity of breeding purebred dogs from a recognised registry or working toward breed development

2.       Professional Member

This membership category is for people or organizations working in the pet industry delivering goods and/or services to dogs and their owners

3.       Rescue Member

This membership category is for people or organizations engaged in the activity of rescuing or re-homing dogs

4.       Responsible Pet Owner (RPO)

This membership category is for people who are pet owners.

5.       Smart Dog Owner

This membership category is for people who have purchased a puppy or dog from one of our breeder or rescue members.

 

1.1.4 Application Process

1.1.4.1 Breeder, Rescue and Professional Members

Prior to acceptance as a MDBA Member, applicants are required to tender a statement which includes their:

1.       Goals

2.       Aspirations

3.       Dreams

4.       Problems faced

5.       Areas of weakness

6.       Areas of strength

7.       History

8.       Greatest achievements

9.       Greatest disappointments

10.   What they would like to get out of membership in the MDBA

Breeder applicants are also required to submit at least two puppy buyer references and must agree that the MDBA to make any enquiries or investigations deemed necessary to enable a fair and adequate evaluation of their application.

The MDBA will assess each membership application on its own merit taking into account the information provided by the applicant and any other information the MDBA deems relevant to the application. This assessment process can take up to 4 weeks for determination. The MDBA is not obligated to give any reason as to why an applicant has or has not been accepted.

1.1.4.2 Responsible Pet Owner

Responsible Pet Owners must agree to the RPO Code of Conduct before their application is accepted.

1.1.4.3 Smart Dog Owners

Smart Dog Owners are not required to agree to any Code of Conduct.

1.1.5 Applicant Pre-Membership Behaviour

The MDBA cannot police any activities or accusations of people prior to becoming MDBA members unless they are under investigation for or found guilty of any act of animal cruelty in which case they cannot become a MDBA Member.

1.2 Membership Quality Controls

1.2.1 Membership Standards

The MDBA sets and expects a high standard of excellence of our Members involved in dog related activities. A membership is activated on the assumption that the Member’s prime focus is what is best for their dogs. We consider all who have had their membership activated to be operating at that high standard until such time as is proven otherwise.

1.2.2 Quality Strategies

1.       We incorporate strategies to monitor, assess and police our member’s activities. We will work with our members wherever possible to resolve any issues before they become the subject of complaints.

2.       We provide free Smart Dog Owner club membership to all MDBA Breeder and Rescue Member puppy or dog buyers. This enables us to build relationships with them that mean we are their first port of call if something goes wrong in the relationship between them and our Breeder or Rescue Member.

3.       Our Members understand and accept that the MDBA will visit their properties informally and formally when required to allow us to determine if there are any potential or current breaches in animal husbandry and or welfare requirements.

4.       We will provide relevant educational courses tailored to canine related activities to ensure our members can increase their knowledge and maintain a high standard of care for their dogs.

2 Complaints against MDBA Members

2.1 Complaints Criteria

1.       The MDBA places a high importance on having a fair and just system for investigating complaints against our members. We will investigate formal complaints for any member who has breached the Code of Conduct applicable to their membership category.

We encourage anyone dissatisfied with the services provided by a member or if they believe a member has breached our Codes of Conduct, to discuss the issues with us. If after this discussion we believe our member has breached a Code of Conduct, we strongly encourage the complainant to lodge a formal complaint. Any person can lodge a formal complaint without seeking input or discussion with us. The MDBA cannot become involved with any issues unless a formal complaint is lodged and supporting documentation is provided for any accusations.

2.       We will take action against any Member where our investigation proves the complaint to be true, which can include notifying authorities where there have been breaches of any Laws and/or Regulations.

3.       We will take action against any complainant where it is proven that they have been vexatious in lodging the complaint and/or where the sole reason for lodging the complaint has been to jeopardise the good standing and reputation of the MDBA and/or its members.

2.2 Complaints Process

1.       A Complainant must provide a signed statement with details of their name, contact details, proof of their identity, full details of the complaint and any supporting documentation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Any evidence must be emailed as an attachment.

2.       An acknowledgement receipt will be sent to Complainants within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint documents.

3.       The MDBA Member subject to the complaint will receive all documents relating to the complaint to enable them to prepare a defence.

4.       The complaint will be investigated and a report provided to the MDBA Board within 21 days at which stage the Board will decide what action is appropriate.

5.       The Member will receive written notification of the Board’s decision within 28 days of the receipt of the complaint notification. The Complainant will receive notification of the completion of the complaint process.

2.3 MDBA Standards Oversight Committee (SOC)

2.3.1 Committee Composition

The Committee comprises of MDBA Board members and others appointed by the Board as required.

2.3.2 Committee Role

The Committee’s role is to:

1.       Oversee the MDBA – Codes of Conduct.

2.       Approve any revisions, updates or new items in the Codes of Conduct.

3.       Approve any revisions, updates or new policies and procedures relating to existing Codes of Conduct.

4.       Hear, assess and make determinations relating to complaints against MDBA members and expediting disciplinary action if required.

5.       Hear, assess and make determinations relating to issues of non-compliance with MDBA Policies.

6.       Oversee the annual compliance process as managed by the Secretariat and provide a report of activities.

7.       The SOC may conduct or cause to be conducted all such inquiries and investigations as it considers appropriate in relation to:

a)       Any alleged misconduct or breach of the codes of conduct by a Member;

b)      Any matter or thing referred to the Board of Directors by a Member;

c)       Any other matter or thing as the Board of Directors may from time to time decide.

2.3.3 Disciplinary Action

Where the SODC decides to take disciplinary action, it may take the following forms:

1.       Require the Member to undertake education in specific areas

2.       A public or private censuring of the member with their membership suspended

3.       Termination of the member’s MDBA membership

4.       Should the member be suspended or have their membership terminated, the MDBA will notify the member of the Board’s decision by registered mail

5.       A Member has the right to appeal any Board decision by following the appeals process

2.3.4 Appeals Process.

1.       Any appeals will be assessed by an independent party, who was not involved in assessing the original complaint.  Appellants should be aware that every case is different so it is not possible to estimate how long the appeal process will take.

2.       Any appeal against a decision must be in writing in the form of a Statutory Declaration and must be received at our Head Office, MDBA Pty Ltd, P.O. Box 31 Ganmain, NSW 2702 Australia no later than 28 days after you have been notified of the decision.

3.       The appeal must be accompanied with evidence and documents to substantiate the grounds of the appeal.

4.       Upon receipt of appeal documents, any disciplinary action will be put 'on hold' pending the review of the appeals documents.

5.       The MDBA may at its discretion undertake further investigation.

6.       Appellants will be advised in writing of the outcome of their appeal within 14 working days of the determination. The decision is final and no further correspondence will be considered.

3 Member Responsibilities

3.1 Breeder Members

3.1.1 Responsibilities

1.       The MDBA acknowledges that within the wider dog world, there is a vast diversity in dog breeder competencies, ethics and values. It has become increasingly difficult for members of the public to differentiate between good ethical breeders and people deliberately breeding puppies for profit as their primary goal or priority. The MDBA provides a way for breeders to show the public they are held to the highest standard of excellence with a fair and just accountability process.

2.       MDBA Breeder Members will do the following:

a)       Provide pedigreed puppies which are predictable and consistent in their size, coat type, exercise needs, energy level, trainability, and their temperament can be predicted within a narrow range allowing people to purchase a puppy that meets their lifestyle and living conditions.

b)      Educate themselves about dogs, breed specific information, canine socialization and training.

c)       Plan each breeding decision to ensure positive outcomes for their puppies and the future generations of the breed.

d)      Ensure that before they place a puppy into a household they screen puppy buyers to increase the likelihood of a successful placement.

e)      Be prepared to support their puppy buyers for the life time of the dog where practicable including:

1.       Maintaining contact with their puppy buyers when requested

2.       Answer any questions from the puppy’s new owners about the puppy or the breed including training and behaviour and encouraging a thriving relationship between the dog and the family.

3.       Where practicable for dogs that they have bred and who are at risk of abandonment or surrender, they assist the dog’s owner to rehome the dog which may include having the dog returned to the breeder.

f)        Become knowledgeable on and adhere to all laws and codes pertinent to their locality

3.1.2        Canine Breeding Goals

MDBA Breeder Members are breed enthusiasts who have high standards of excellence often higher than other breeders.  Our voluntary membership, screening process and constant checks help reduce the risks for the puppy buyer in their search for a healthy canine family member.

1.       Our breeder members will always have what’s best for the dogs over and above any other goal.

2.       MDBA Breeder Members will improve, restore or develop our recognised breeds or breeds in development via a process of selection over successive generations This must always have priority over any secondary goals associated with the breeders anticipated results of any litter.

3.       No MDBA Breeder Member will compromise on health or the welfare of the dogs in their care or those which they are producing to attain any goal.

4.       Our breeders will:

1.       Breed for health, temperament and breed type;

2.       Screen their breeding stock for genetic abnormalities known to be an issue in their dogs;

3.       Become knowledgeable about their breed history and bloodlines;

4.       Provide appropriate health care and housing for adult dogs and puppies;

5.       Raise, train, and socialize puppies with dedication and care;

6.       Adhere to specific breed standards of excellence and for performance ability and

7.       Not where possible end the relationship with puppy buyers when the puppy goes to its new family.

3.1.3 Pet Shops

MDBA Breeders agree not to sell their puppies to pet shops for the following reasons:

1.       Regardless of how progressive and well run a pet store which sells live animals may be, prospective buyers cannot contact the breeder for support and they cannot be sure of the parent dog’s temperament or health in order to understand any potential problems or management issues.

2.       Consumers can purchase a puppy from pet shops as an impulse buy and the store motivations to sell the pup may not include whether the dog and the buyer will suit each other.

3.       Pet shop assistant’s may not be qualified to educate the buyer on the breed’s characteristics and the pet shop may not offer life time support to the puppy buyer.

4.       There is often no safety net in place for the puppy buyer for advice or support nor can the puppy be returned if things go wrong.

5.       Breeders who place their pups in pet shops and have chosen not to be involved in or take responsibility for the dogs they breed which is the opposite of our Breeder Members ethics.

3.2 Rescue Members

3.2.1 Responsibilities

MDBA Rescue Members will always place priority on the health and welfare of the animals they have in their care and will ensure they place all animals with regard to their welfare over all other secondary goals.

MDBA Rescue Members will:

1.       Educate themselves about dogs, about specific breeds, and about socialising and training.

2.       Plan each decision to ensure positive outcomes for the dogs and the families where the dogs are placed.

3.       Be prepared to support their rescue dogs buyers for the life time of the dog including:

a)       Keep in touch where practicable and possible with their rescue dogs buyers and being available to answer any questions about the dog including training and behaviour

b)      Taking back dogs that do not work out with their new families or helping to find a new home where practicable or possible

c)       Take adequate steps to prevent any situation which will lead to overcrowding of their rescue

d)      Become knowledgeable on and adhere to all laws and codes pertinent to their locality

e)      Be professional in their approach and have clear and concise policies and procedures in place.

3.3 Responsible Pet Owner (RPO)

3.3.1 Responsibilities

MDBA RPO’s will:

1.       Demonstrate effort and commitment to their dogs and to the community

2.       Learn about their pet's specific behavioural and management needs.

3.       Allocate their time and resources for proper training and make no compromises on the health and welfare of the pets in their care

4.       Ensure their dogs do not cause a problem to or lessen the quality of life for any person in the community by barking, destroying property, threatening or harming humans or other animals.

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