News

Council and RSPCA working to stamp out ‘puppy farms.‘

By Madeleine Caccianiga

A Tatura man faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court last week on animal cruelty charges following a joint operation by Greater Shepparton City Council and the RSPCA.

The man pleaded guilty to operating an illegal puppy farm for two years in Tatura.

He also faced two charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for failing to provide veterinary treatment for a sick or injured animal.

The man has been banned from operating a domestic animal business for 10 years, according to council.

Council citizen services manager Laurienne Winbanks said council was committed to working with the RSPCA to enforce changes to the Domestic Animals Act introduced in December last year.

‘‘Council works together with local and state authorities, including the RSPCA, to monitor domestic animal businesses and any illegally operating puppy farms and cat breeders will be investigated,’’ Ms Winbanks said.

‘‘We strongly encourage the community to report to council or the RSPCA any property in Greater Shepparton that may be breeding dogs or cats or where the welfare of the animals is a concern.’’

RSPCA’s Lisa Calleja said her organisation was happy with the court case outcome.

‘‘We’re happy with this result, because it sends a clear message to the community that anyone wanting to operate a domestic animal business must do so in accordance with the law and ensure the welfare of their animals, which includes the provision of veterinary treatment to any that are sick or injured,’’ Ms Calleja said.

■Instances of suspected cruelty to animals can be reported to council or the RSPCA. Phone Greater Shepparton City Council on 5832 9700 or visit greatershepparton.vic.gov.au or phone RSPCA on 9224 2222 or visit rspcavic.org