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.
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.
3. If the legislation is passed, Victoria will become the only state in Australia where pet stores solely sell rescue cats and dogs.
4. The measures are part of an ongoing plan from Labor to "smash the puppy farm business model" and protect breeding cats and dogs.
5. The Andrews government has already introduced a bunch of other changes to the breeding industry.
6. Now, pet stores are required to keep detailed records of all puppies and kittens sold.
7. It's mandatory for female breeding dogs to have a vet check before mating ...
8. ... and the same dogs are restricted to having five litters.
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.
10. In June, the RSPCA rescued 119 dogs and six cats from a property in Longwood in northern Victoria.
11. The RSPCA said it was "one of several investigations into large-scale animal cruelty involving dogs currently underway in Victoria".
12. So what do these changes mean for people wanting to become pet owners in Victoria?
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.
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.
15. OK, go hug your pet now.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Lane Sainty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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