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15 Cute Rescue Animals And An Explanation Of Victoria's Puppy Farm Crackdown

Victoria to become the first Australian state to restrict pet stores to selling rescue animals.

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1. The Victorian government is pushing ahead with controversial reforms that will crack down on big breeding operations and make sure pet stores only sell rescue cats and dogs.

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2. Under the reforms, to be introduced before the end of 2016, big breeders will be restricted to a maximum of 10 bitches, and pet stores will only be able to sell puppies and kittens from registered shelters and pounds.

Instagram: @wa_pet_project
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3. If the legislation is passed, Victoria will become the only state in Australia where pet stores solely sell rescue cats and dogs.

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4. The measures are part of an ongoing plan from Labor to "smash the puppy farm business model" and protect breeding cats and dogs.

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5. The Andrews government has already introduced a bunch of other changes to the breeding industry.

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6. Now, pet stores are required to keep detailed records of all puppies and kittens sold.

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7. It's mandatory for female breeding dogs to have a vet check before mating ...

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8. ... and the same dogs are restricted to having five litters.

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9. The government also handed an extra $5 million to the RSPCA to investigate illegal puppy farmers. That's on top of the $1 million it already receives per year.

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10. In June, the RSPCA rescued 119 dogs and six cats from a property in Longwood in northern Victoria.

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11. The RSPCA said it was "one of several investigations into large-scale animal cruelty involving dogs currently underway in Victoria".

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12. So what do these changes mean for people wanting to become pet owners in Victoria?

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13. Well, depending on when the legislation passes, all of the cats and dogs waiting for a new family in pet stores will be rescue, not bred, animals.

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14. You'll still be able to buy certain dogs direct from legal, registered, breeders, but some of the largest breeders will have to downsize their operations.

Instagram: @wa_pet_project

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at lane.sainty@buzzfeed.com.

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