Soaring demand for puppies across NSW during the pandemic came at a cost, with many bred and housed in cramped conditions.
A state committee inquiry is looking at breeding practices amid reports of serious cruelty, especially as puppy farms became a lucrative business in the last two years.
RSPCA investigators previously disclosed that they had found hundreds of animals kept in appalling conditions and dozens in poor health, living in concrete kennels with no bedding and wet floors covered in fecal matter.
Three cases of animal cruelty were taken to court out of 468 inspections conducted by a RSPCA independent task force spanning 9000 animals since August 2020, the inquiry heard on Monday.
Greens MP Abigail Boyd referred to a father and daughter who were sentenced last week for animal cruelty over the mistreatment of dogs in their care following police raids near Wagga Wagga in 2020.
They were fined over $20,000 after reports one of their dogs, Strawberry, died from birthing complications which they did not address.
A local court heard the pair had over 200 dogs in their breeding farm.
"We do not have a provision that prohibits somebody who has an animal cruelty conviction from running a puppy farm in NSW," said Ms Boyd.
"That's got to be an oversight".
Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst noted that the NSW breeding code had too many legislative gaps with no caps on the number of puppies a breeder can have with no staffing ratios.
Animals can also be confined for 23 hours and 40 minutes out of 24 hours.
"It makes more sense to have our laws actually set up in a way so that it stops the cruelty from happening in the first place," she said.
Australian Associated Press
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