Joint Select Committee on Companion Animal Breeding Practices in New South Wales

10th September 2015

Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) [1.10 p.m.]: I will make some brief comments on the findings and operation of the Joint Standing Committee on Companion Animal Breeding Practices. I particularly acknowledge the chair, the member for Northern Tablelands, Mr Adam Marshall, and the deputy chair, the Hon. Mick Veitch, from the upper House, for their leadership throughout the inquiry. The membership of the committee represented the broad political spectrum in this Parliament. The behaviour of members is reflected in the unanimous adoption of the 34 recommendations and the four findings to which the chair has just referred.

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the Minister, the Hon. Niall Blair, for having initiated this inquiry in response to valid concerns raised by the community and by activists groups that have been confronted with some of the most abhorrent behaviour and ill-treatment towards companion animals and the negative impacts it has. The problems that have resulted from that experience must be addressed by owners and the organisations that are charged with addressing them. That might involve cleaning up the mess or dealing with dumped animals. Police must also deal with poorly socialised animals that become aggressive. We are an intelligent and well-educated society and we are concerned about animals generally, and particularly our companion animals. However, we have failed in some areas. Perhaps some of that failure has been the result of a reluctance or tardiness in implementing the recommendations of the Companion Animals Taskforce.

The committee has made some practical recommendations which can be implemented and which are largely understood by the many people who made representations to the inquiry. The feedback I have received overwhelmingly supports the committee's recommendations. I acknowledge Minister Niall Blair for initiating the inquiry. I also acknowledge the chair, the deputy chair and the committee members who undertook this difficult inquiry. It is one of the best committee inquiries in which I have participated. The member for Granville and the chair are the only committee members in the Chamber, and I acknowledge their participation. I once again thank the members who participated in this inquiry.

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