LETTER: Proposed dog breeding facility will set a new benchmark

PROPOSED: An artist's impression of the dog breeding facility proposed to be built on a site about 21 kilometres south of Bathurst.
PROPOSED: An artist's impression of the dog breeding facility proposed to be built on a site about 21 kilometres south of Bathurst.

AS readers of the Western Advocate may be aware, a development application for a new dog breeding facility was recently submitted to Bathurst Regional Council.

Having worked in the pet industry for 34 years, I am acutely aware of the genuine concern people feel for the welfare of animals. It’s this connection with animals and care for their well-being that motivates so many individuals, couples and families to make the major commitment of bringing a dog into their home.

As each year passes, more and more people are making this decision and bringing a dog into their family. The demand for happy and healthy puppies continues to grow in NSW and across the country, with over 39 per cent of households now including a dog. 

But there is no room for rogue operators. 

Rockley Valley Park Pty Ltd plans to build an $841,000 breeding facility. Our mission and commitment to our customers, the Bathurst district and the broader community is to “raise the standards of dog breeding in Australia”.

The proposed facility will set a new benchmark for the pet industry not seen in Australia before, allowing the professional breeding of companion dogs while catering for the physical, psychological and social well-being of all dogs on the property. It will feature grassed exercise areas, insulated kennels with under-slab heating and socialisation yards. There will be on-site grooming facilities and a vet inspection area, as well as a purpose-built, temperature-controlled whelping facility with monitoring.  

Put simply, our commitment is to build a facility that sets new standards for dog breeding in Australia.

We will do so by providing a training ground to help raise the standards by encouraging other related breeders to visit the site and to understand and become inspired to follow the operation and its practices.

Our plan is to invite up to 12 dog breeders, every four to six weeks, from NSW and occasionally interstate to the facility to undertake a training seminar where existing and potential dog breeders will be taught best practice dog breeding techniques and the proposed Rockley Valley property will be the model facility.

We will also work with animal groups to establish an accreditation and recognition scheme to assure buyers they are getting their new pet from a “reliable and ethical” source.

Our approach is to be open, transparent and factual with the community about the new facility – with inspections available for pet owners, the community, the RSPCA, vets and the Animal Welfare League. 

As the owner and operator of Rockley Valley Park, I am writing this letter for that very reason – to demonstrate from the outset to the Bathurst community our commitment to exceeding welfare standards in the proposed new facility, our dedication to help raise standards in other breeding facilities across NSW and our openness in providing information about the facility to anyone who wishes to know.

John Grima, Fosters Valley