Adjourned debate on second reading.
(Continued from 23 March 2016.)
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN ( Stuart ) ( 16:02 :01 ): I will be very brief. I know that there will be several speakers from both sides of the house who will make very fulsome and informed contributions. I appreciate that they are doing so on behalf of themselves and also on behalf of our respective sides in this chamber. I will not go into great detail myself, other than to say that I do support the bill and the key issues with regard to the registration of animals and of breeders of microchipping and desexing, unless there is a good reason not to. Of course, one of those good reasons is if a person is a registered and responsible breeder.
What I want to talk about for just a few minutes is the other very good reason not to, that is, with regard to working animals. As a member of parliament representing country and outback areas, I know extremely well how important working dogs are to primary production businesses. I think it is entirely appropriate that working dogs have been excluded from the requirement for automatic desexing. I would like to thank the many people in my electorate who approached me on this over the last few years that this has been dealt with by this parliament, this issue in various forms, whether it is in a bill, in committee or in broader discussion.
It would not have been practical at all to require people on farms or stations to desex their working dogs if they were not registered breeders. These people have no commercial interest in being a registered breeder, but they have a very sensible practical interest in being a responsible breeder on a very small scale for their own and for their neighbours’ appropriate purposes.
By that, I mean that the people I know, surrounding where I live and also throughout my electorate, work pretty responsibly with each other. If there is a good dog and a good bitch and they are a good match for each other, and if there is a need for another generation of working dogs in that region, they get together. It is not a moneymaking venture, it is not a puppy farm. It is not a way to try to benefit in any way from the breeding of animals, other than the fact that you and your neighbour might need one or two more dogs and that if you get together and work it out in a very sensible and responsible way you can benefit.
To be quite blunt, the dogs will benefit as well because these dogs are bred to work and they are better off if they work. In a home/primary production business environment, where they are treated well and fed well, kept warm and dry and trained to do the job they are intended to do, through their genetic background, that is entirely appropriate. I support the bill. I thank other speakers who will make comments on the bill, and I highlight how important it is that working dogs are dealt with responsibly.