PROPOSED standards aimed at improving dog welfare and combating ``puppy farms'' are open for public submissions.
The Animal Welfare Committee and Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment recently reviewed the Animal Welfare Act 1993 with a particular focus on dogs.
Animal Welfare and Advisory Committee chief veterinary officer Rod Andrewartha said the draft standards covered dog-related businesses and industries and general standards for dog owners.
``Last year there was a lot of feedback from the community and organisations focused on the welfare of dogs during the review of the Animal Welfare Act 1993,'' Dr Andrewartha said.
Dr Andrewartha said there was a clear need for enforceable standards for dog-keeping.
RSPCA state chief inspector Paul McGinty said the organisation looked forward to clearer guidelines.
``There will be a big change in the way dogs are kept, bred, sold and housed,'' Mr McGinty said.
``Broad terms are going to become very specific terms . . . the Animal Welfare Act can be quite vague in some areas.
``The regulations are going to have specific periods dogs can be chained for, and certain heights or widths - if it's too short, it's too short.
``From an inspectorate point of view, and having seen puppy farms on the mainland, although certain people or groups throw around words like ``puppy farm'' or ``puppy mill'' with great ease and regularity, I am not aware of any places that I believe would fall under this definition . . . in Tasmania at this time.
``Things such as body condition, coats, water and feed, faeces, room to move, stacked cages, etcetera would need to be taken into account.''
Recommendations accepted by Primary Industries Minister Bryan Green but not considered in the consultation process include the prohibition of pronged dog collars and regulating the use of electric shock collars.
The standards are separate from the Dog Control Act.
Public submissions are open until 5pm on November 22. Visit dpipwe.tas.gov.au for more information.
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