With Christmas just around the corner and a puppy or kitten high on the wish list for many, a new campaign has been launched to help buyers avoid scams this holiday season.
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the online campaign will help families avoid traps and feel confident in choosing a responsible breeder.
“A bit of research and asking a few simple questions can go a long way to protect you and your new furry friend,” Mr Saunders said.
“This campaign is all about arming people with the right tools to identify any potential risks and stop scammers from turning a merry Christmas into a miserable one.
“That’s why we are taking a whole-of-government approach to get the right information to help consumers and back breeders to promote animal welfare.
People are encouraged to check the mandatory NSW Breeding Code of Practice is being followed, to ensure their animals are well cared for.
Breeders should make sure they understand their welfare, care and ownership transfer requirements under this code.
Minister for Fair Trading Victor Dominello said the more information you have, the better when it comes to considering bringing a pet into the family.
“Figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission showed Australians lost $4 million to pet scams in 2021,” Mr Dominello said.
“Consumers can avoid becoming a victim by meeting a breeder to verify they are reputable, and should also ask questions on an animal’s health, such as vaccination status.”
Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said knowledge is power when it comes to purchasing a pet at Christmas for the family.
“Being as informed as possible is very important when considering bringing a new pet home to the family, and this is so much easier thanks to the resources the Liberal and National Government has provided,” Mrs Tuckerman said.
“Doing your homework, making sure you’re looking into the breeders profiles and the prospective pet’s history can make all the difference when choosing to take a new pup home.”
RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said before deciding to bring a pet home, it’s important to know what’s involved.
“It is important to consider both the owner and the pet’s basic needs before committing to ownership,” Mr. Coleman said.
“This ensures a reduced risk of animals ending up in shelters.”
The NSW Government takes animal welfare very seriously, with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) working closely with RSPCA NSW, Animal Welfare League NSW, NSW Fair Trading, Office of Local Government and other key agencies and stakeholders to keep companion animals safe.
Anyone who has encountered issues with pet scams are encouraged to lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/help-centre/online-tools/make-a-complaint or on 13 32 20.
More tips for buying a puppy or kitten, including how to avoid scams, are available on the NSW DPI website. More information about buying and caring for companion animals and the NSW Government’s Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding dogs and cats is available on the NSW DPI website