Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed today’s announcement that the NSW Government will renew its approach to developing draft standards and guidelines (S&G’s) for pet shops and breeders of cats and dogs.

Ms Cooke said that over the past few months, the NSW Government has been consulting with stakeholders about the draft S&G’s proposed for pet shops and breeders of cats and dogs.

“Through this process, I heard loud and clear that some elements of the S&G’s would unduly impact dog and cat breeders and people selling pets,” Ms Cooke said.

“The Minister has listened to the feedback from stakeholders and has directed the Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) to start again, working from the ground up.

“We want to make sure the S&G’s have clear objectives and that all stakeholders are involved in their development.

“The majority of dog and cat breeders in this region do the right thing, however we need to make sure NSW practices meet community expectations.”

The NSW Government remains committed to ensuring that breeding practices for companion animals are safe, ethical and meet community expectations.

A new Chief Animal Welfare Officer will be appointed by NSW DPI to increase the focus on animal welfare in NSW and drive stakeholder engagement.

In addition, a new Pet Register will be launched this year, to streamline how pets are registered in NSW and improve how animal welfare agencies track and record pet breeding businesses.

The existing Animal Welfare Codes of Practice that apply to pet shops and companion animals breeding will be in place until the new S&G’s are successfully implemented.