Decision Maker Response

RSPCA NSW’s response

Feb 15, 2017 — RSPCA NSW have received formal reports through our cruelty hotline about the welfare of pets in a pet shop at Parklea Markets in Sydney. We take all complaints of animal cruelty very seriously and have sent out inspectors to investigate.

Our inspector attended on Saturday 11 February, and found that all the puppies and kittens had been removed and the shop owner had taken them home the afternoon before. None of the shops at Parklea Markets had any puppies or kittens on this day. They had all been removed due to the heat. The conditions at this home address also are part of the ongoing investigation.

However - due to evidence supplied in formal reports through our cruelty hotline, this incident is currently under investigation in relation to breaches to the Department of Primary Industries’ Code of Practice relating to pet shops that may have occurred on the Friday: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/244018/Animal-welfare-code-of-practice-animals-in-pet-shops.pdf

The Code specifies that a pet shop can only operate when the temperature inside the cages is between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. Our inspector measured the temperature inside the shop on Saturday at 39 degrees Celsius. 

As well as an ongoing investigation, our inspectorate will continue to closely monitor the pet vendors at this location, especially in relation to temperature violations as the Sydney heatwave continues.

The vendors have been given strict instructions to leave the animals at home in the cool and not bring them into the shop until the weather is under 30 degrees Celsius, and this will be closely monitored. We are continuing to investigate this incident.

While penalties of breaching the Code of Practice include imposition of fines, if an animal suffers and offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act can be proven, penalties can include jail time. 

We understand this change.org petition is requesting we “stop the selling of animals at Parklea Markets”. The only way pet shop vendors can be shut down is by decision of a magistrate through a court-ordered prohibition order after a successful prosecution. 

Markets like this, even when run “well", are no place for the sale of animals. RSPCA NSW’s position paper on pet shops outlines much stricter regulations around pet shops that we are actively advocating for. You can read the full paper here: http://kb.rspca.org.au/afile/222/56/ 

This is just yet another reason why you should adopt, not shop. 

There are several pet shops in the vicinity of Parklea Markets. One particular vendor who has no breaches of the Code, and has always cooperated with us, has been mis-identified by online justice-seekers and has received death threats and physical abuse. Even with the best of intentions, this is never, ever acceptable. 

We understand that pets are part of our families, and they evoke a very emotional response, but please let the authorities do their job. The best thing you can do to stop animal cruelty is to make a formal confidential report on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589) so we can investigate, or call the police.