An Animal Welfare League Poll shows community demand for tighter regulation of puppy farms…

Fonz on arrival at AWL from puppy farm
Fonz on arrival at AWL from puppy farm

The background

Puppy farming may be one of Australia’s most pressing animal welfare issues.

Also known as puppy factories or puppy mills, puppy farms often operate under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs’ behavioural, social and/or physiological needs. These conditions include extreme confinement and overcrowding, inadequate veterinary and general care, and unsanitary environments. The fate of female dogs in puppy farms is especially grim. Continuously kept pregnant from the age of six months, they are often forced to produce litters for their entire lives. When they are no longer able to breed, they are mostly euthanised.

As a behaviourist, I have major concerns about the lack of adequate socialisation these pups receive while young. It is vital that pups from 3-8 weeks of age are exposed to a whole variety of people, in positive circumstances.

Puppies at puppy farm
Puppies at puppy farm – far from ideal rearing conditions

The Poll

Over 1500 Australians were questioned about their opinions on puppy farms. Results included:

  • 90% of NSW residents support a Breeder Licensing Scheme and publicly accessible register to crack down on cruel puppy farms.
  • 87% agree that puppy breeders should be subject to inspections from an independent body.
  • Almost half of people surveyed, however, had no idea that welfare issues surround dogs reared in puppy farms.*
  • Read more results here… Puppy Farming Poll Summary 26 11 13

*Clearly the need for education of pet owners & general community

What next?

Animal Welfare League NSW (AWL) commends the State Government on their recent consideration of animal welfare initiatives and calls for swift implementation of an effective Breeder Licensing Scheme.

Breeder Licensing Scheme

Under the Breeder Licensing Scheme, all NSW dog breeders should be licensed and subject to inspection by an independent animal protection body, to prevent animal cruelty associated with puppy farming, says Animal Welfare League NSW (AWL).  The  proposed Breeder Licensing Scheme would help educate breeders on their responsibilities, protect animals and reduce the alarming rates of euthanasia, estimated at above 40,000 companion animals annually in NSW alone.

The Scheme proposed by AWL includes 5 essential points to ensure its effectiveness:

  • Mandatory licencing to breed
  • Monitoring of animal welfare standards through unannounced inspections by independent animal welfare body
  • A sustainable scheme through a user-pays system, funded by breeders themselves
  • Requirements of quotation of a licence or microchip number when advertising, transferring or selling pets
  • Empowerment of the community to enable the public to check where their puppies have come from through an online register

Puppy Love

AWL have launched a public campaign “Puppy Love” to raise awareness of appalling animal welfare standards in breeding facilities and to demonstrate public support for the Breeder Licensing Scheme.

To sign the online petition urging the NSW Government to implement the Breeder Licensing Scheme, or for more information, go to

Sign petition puppy farming

 What about the puppies now?

Jimmi & Tobi now
Jimmi & Tobi now

And Fonz?

Fonz after some TLC


Happy endings for these dogs but what about the other dogs and puppies still living their lives in squalid conditions? Please support the Animal Welfare Leagues around the country and the AWLA and help them provide a better life for our canine companions.


Watch this video of Jellybean and her slow blossoming in life thanks to AWL and her kind new owner…

Copy of the AWL Opinion Poll Release 26 11 13

For more information on this topic please contact AWL External Relations Manager Jessica Borg, 0405 517 911 or


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More blog posts from Dr Jo

Stirring up thoughts on pet shops and puppy farms

Are puppy farm dogs stressed?


  1. The survey was disappointing Jo, only 50% had no idea that welfare issues surround dogs reared in puppy farms! Oh…. how horrific is that and they most likely bought a pup from a petshop! 🙁 Great article, I hope it brings more awareness! x

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