I thought it may be nice to start the week off with some good news for a change.
Many of you will be aware of the disappointing recommendations that came from the recent Parliamentary Inquiry in NSW as the state embraces the advice of the puppy factory lobby groups. This showed the Inquiry to be made up of a committee in which the bulk of the members would seemingly take hitchhiker safety advice from Ivan Milat, given they were happy to take it from the very people the Inquiry was set up to target.
However I am pleased to see that any ignorance at state government level currently appears to be in NSW exclusively with other states either taking submissions or reviewing submissions to tackle this cruel and inhumane practice of pain for profit.
In Victoria in particular things are charging ahead under the watchful eye of the Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford and the Labor government. Recently in Victoria there has been evidence that the exposure of this disgusting industry is having a direct impact on the business model on those who choose to make cruelty their business.
The Labor government in Victoria are proving that the Labor Party are the progressive party that can actually make a difference rather than just talk about it. Protest is all well and good but at some point someone has to actually do something about it all, while in NSW the puppy farmers and National Party are saying Thx Niall Blair for the Inquiry failure, in Victoria those who believe mans best friends deserve better are saying “Thank You Jaala Pulford”.
Upcoming legislation from the Labor Party in Victoria will actually see the sales of animals phased out and banned from retail outlets, while NSW will continue to bury it’s head in the sand.
I am pleased to report last week saw the closure of three pet stores that sold animals, without the need for any legislative change. That is three less regular customers for the puppy factories and three extra chances that the public may make the ethical decision to adopt a pup from a pound or rescue service.
The shops that closed are Northland Pet Centre, Greensborough Pets Paradise (an ironic name), and the highest profile store of the three, Knox Pet Centre.
Not as much is known about the closures at Northland and Greensborough, however the Knox store in particular has been seen as a huge victory.
Anyone who works in centre management at a shopping centre where there is a pet store that sells animals would know that these stores are the bane of centre managements existence. They act as a magnet for complaints and are often a scene of disturbances when animals are seen to be suffering.
It is not only centre management that receive the complaints however, it is local councils and the RSPCA both of whom often have to deploy inspectors to the site. All of this of course ads to consumer costs, the added costs to centre management are passed on in store rents which filter down to retail prices, and the cost to council of constantly sending out inspectors adds to council rates.
As for Knox Pet Centre, it was situated in one of Melbourne’s largest shopping centres, Westfield Knox City.
Westfield Knox had two pet stores in the shopping centre, Pet Stock Knox, and Knox Pet Centre.
Pet Stock does not carry animals stocking only supplies, while Knox Pet Centre displayed animals in glass cages in the shop windows for children to bash and tap on the glass next to them all day. All through this the puppies trapped inside pined for their mother who was likely hundreds of miles away in a cesspit of a puppy factory and already being used as a breeding machine again.
Anyway one of these stores continues to flourish, the other closed its doors for the last time last Thursday.
Although Westfield Knox centre management’s official position was that they had no position, they seemed to have been building up to that position for quite a while.
Knox Pet Store and its animal display had been an issue that had plagued the shopping centre for quite a while now. There had been issues with puppies being displayed well before the age of eight weeks when they can be legally sold, which makes you wonder how long they actually spent with their mother. Further issues involving sick animals on display, dogs not being given water, and puppies spending their day on shredded paper soaked in urine.
Recently there was an incident where a golden retriever puppy too young to be on sale fell from a glass cage after the store had closed. The lock on the cage was broken and the tiny pup had climbed out and fallen several metres onto a hard tiled floor. Having survived the fall it had tried to escape by going under the metal roller door at the front of the store as there is a gap where the floor slopes. The poor puppy in a desperate bid to escape, and undoubtedly in pain from the fall only succeeded in wedging its head between the metal door and the tiled floor and became stuck. There it remained until concerned shoppers from the nearby Coles which is open late heard the pained cries of the tiny pup and reported it.
I am informed that centre management called in the store owner and insisted the puppy be taken to a vet.
Not only does this incident present us with a sad story, it presents us with a clear picture of where the animals were being kept overnight.
Sadly Knox Pet Store is not the exception to the rule, it is typical of many pet stores despite the image they may try to portray.
Aside from a better informed and vocal public another thing Knox Pet Store had going against it was it’s proximity to a particular organisation.
A few minutes down the road from Westfield Knox City is the office of Oscars Law, and it is safe to say that Oscar’s Law founder, the tireless Debra Tranter was a regular sight at the store windows checking on the animals welfare.
Speaking to Debra yesterday about the closure she told me of how she had received more calls than she could keep track of from concerned citizens about that store.
While acknowledging that Oscar’s Law had been quite vocal about this particular store, Debra was not keen on seeing the closure as a personal victory or another success for Oscars Law instead referring to it as a victory for people power, as she stated;
“There is no doubt that the public outcry regarding Knox Pet Store had a direct impact on the decision not to renew the lease.”
I for one have absolutely no doubt that Debra and Oscar’s Law have been a huge factor in bringing about that public awareness.
It would also appear that it is not only me that thinks Debra, trolls and friends of puppy farmers think so also taking to the Oscars Law Facebook page to vent, such as the gem below.
Despite Rob’s misguided anger there were actually breaches of law and codes of practice in the way these animals were looked after, and if reporting breaches of law to authorities makes one a vigilante or a thug then I pity the police trying to solve crimes without witnesses or the courts he mentions trying to persecute crimes that nobody reports.
However perhaps the funniest thing about Rob’s post is the comparison to ISIS for Oscars Law.
Oscar’s Law expose evil and campaign against it, ISIS on the other hand are evil. Despite being evil ISIS manage to put together propaganda video’s, campaigns, and websites to make them seem attractive and noble to the gullible whilst off camera being merchants of pain and suffering. Tactics and propaganda that in my humble opinion are not dissimilar to the likes of Murray River Puppies or Banksia Park Puppies.
As the Facebook advertising below shows, these puppy farmers have no shame.
What there is no doubt of whatsoever is that these closures represent a blow to the lobby groups trying to prop up dying sector of the pet industry, and that sector itself, the puppy factories.
What is also certain is that this represents a win for not only Oscars Law and of course the public, it is also a win for both common decency and common sense.
Let’s hope for plenty more to come.Follow @madwixxy