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It’s been a long time since I posted my last so called ‘Thought Of The Month’. I must say that my brain has become a little addled over the past few months with the ongoing debate about the merits of Clover Moores Bill and/or a Parliamentary enquiry into the pet industry. And I truly wish that the Bill or an enquiry would go forward as I would love my mind to be occupied with more pleasant things. I mean really, Blind Freddie could work this one out.

Many people and groups who are against the proposed Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill suggest that it is based on misinformation and that not enough facts are known to support such a bill. This would logically suggest that a full enquiry would be a necessary thing as it would lay the facts down for all to see about how and where puppies and kittens are breed and supplied to the pet shop industry, and from where and in what numbers animals are surrendered to the multitude of pounds and welfare agencies who try in vain to re-home these abandoned pets before they are euthanased.
But it appears that the people who disparage the Bill are also opposed to and enquiry. One must ask why, even though the answer is obvious. If the Bill is to be opposed as unsubstantiated then surely there can be no logical opposition to an open and unbiased collection of facts that can be used by those on both sides of the debate.

And this is where I get very frustrated and confused, and why I must believe that vested interest parties are running the game and also have the ear of those in power who can put an end to, or at least dramatically reduce, the abuse of animals in the pet industry supply chain and, in turn, the death of an estimated 250,000 companion animals a year Australia wide.

Those opposed to an enquiry and the Bill usually ignore the conversation about where pet shop puppies are breed and in what condition the breeding dogs are kept. This is an argument they cannot win, as there is too much documented proof of how barbaric the puppy mill and backyard breeding industry is, so it’s best to avoid this topic. They instead tend to skip straight to the argument that we have no right to suggest that the general public is irresponsible when it comes to the purchase and care of a family pet. But are they irresponsible or just fooled by the very well marketed hoopla surrounding the pet industry.

When an uninformed person looks in a pet shop window full of frolicking puppies do they believe that all care is given to the breeding of these beautiful creatures or do they see the pain, filth and stench that the breeding mother is living in.
Do they believe that the information they are given in the shop is informed and welfare-centric or do they understand that a product needs to be sold and sales targets need to be met.
When a person surrenders a pet to a local pound, do they imagine it will be re-homed to a caring family or do they understand that it is more likely to be lead to it’s death in about a weeks time and given a lethal injection.

I truly believe that it is the former of all of these scenarios that the unsuspecting public believe to be true. Do I believe this makes them irresponsible or are they just ignorant of the very ugly and cruel side of an industry that spends substantial amounts of money marketing themselves as warm and fuzzy and, of late, socially and civically minded.

There can be no possible objection to pushing for a full and open Parliamentary enquiry into the pet industries practices in regard to the supply, care, and sale of pets. The only objections can be from those who don’t want us all to know what the results of an enquiry will be. Money is a powerful thing.

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