Changes to legislation hit bird lover
ANIMAL breeders of all kinds are getting caught up in changes designed to stop puppy farming.
Grafton hobby bird breeder John Minshull is likely to lose all his birds with the redefining of pet shop regulations by the NSW Government.
The Department of Primary Industries has redefined the pet shop guidelines in the draft Standards and Guidelines for Breeding of Dogs and Cats, and Animals in Pet Shops to include pet owners who want to keep, breed and sell their pets.
Bird and reptile breeder Michael Donelly, who began the Change.org petition to draw breeders' attention to the change, said the new guidelines were ridiculous.
"The concept behind it was all the puppy and cat farms around - they saw the need to change the requirements," he said.
"The way they are going about it, they are going to drag all the individual people who have an aviary or a couple of pet lizards who breed once a year into it."
Mr Minshull, a pensioner who has had birds since he was a child, will likely not be able to keep his birds once the new regulations come in.
With the legislation changes, Mr Minshull will have to get rid of his aviary.
"I'd have to do a $4000 course in animal husbandry and I'd have to get a pet shop licence, and you're not allowed to have a pet shop in a residential area," he said.
Mr Minshull, who lives in Westlawn, has more than 100birds in his collection and spends most of his pension on food for the birds.
"I get up at five o'clock in the morning and start cutting up fruit and vegetables for the birds, and then I mess around feeding them until nine or 10o'clock, and then I go looking for pine cones and that to give to them," he said.
For Mr Minshull to comply with the new government regulations, he would have to move to a different area and take down his aviary, completely rebuilding it to incorporate air conditioning for the birds.