Convictions made following discovery of puppy farm

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A TATURA man has been charged after appearing the Shepparton Magistrates Court following a joint investigation by Greater Shepparton City Council and the RSPCA into the illegal operation of a ‘puppy farm’ over the last two years.

The man, who had more than 50 dogs and 20 cats at two properties, was subsequently charged with offences including operating an unregistered breeding business and animal cruelty. The man pleaded guilty in the Shepparton Magistrates Court to failing to conducting a domestic animal business on an unregistered premise and failing to register the large number of dogs and cats with council.

The accused also pleaded guilty to two RSPCA Victoria charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTAA) for failing to provide veterinary treatment for a sick or injured animal. As a result, the accused will not be able to operate a domestic animal business in Victoria for the next 10 years.

Manager citizen services, Laurienne Winbanks said the prosecution demonstrated Council’s commitment to protecting the welfare of animals and ensuring compliance with the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

“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 Victoria inspectorate team leader, Lisa Calleja said it was a promising 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.

Reports can be made to council by calling 5832 9700, visiting www.greatershepparton.vic.gov.au or emailing [email protected] or can also be made to the RSPCA by calling 9224 2222 or visiting www.rspcavic.org