THE developer of a proposed dog breeding facility at Fosters Valley wants to use the businesses as a way to educate people about responsible pet care and breeding.
If the development application lodged with Bathurst Regional Council is approved, it would see the breeding facility built on around two hectares of land on a Rockley Road property.
The facility would include more than 40 kennels for mating, whelping and general housing, two dog socialisation areas and a grooming shed.
The development would also re-purpose the existing dwelling and sheds, turning them into a residence for the dog breeding manager, training area and dog hospital and quarantine room.
Residents and people living outside of Bathurst have expressed great concern over the facility, with particular regard to the welfare the dogs being bred there.
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Some have gone as far as to label it a “puppy farm”, which the RSPCA has defined as “an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs' behavioural, social and/or physiological needs”.
John Grima, the developer, has strongly rejected these claims, saying Rockley Valley Park would meet and exceed the standards set by the NSW Code of Practice for breeding dogs and cats and the Pet Industry Association.
“I wouldn’t be standing here right now if my intention was to open up a puppy farm,” he said.
“We have been transparent by lodging a DA and being upfront with the RSPCA, the Animal Welfare League and the Australian Veterinary Association.”
Part of the proposal for the facility is to offer planned guided tours of the facility for authorities or member of the public.
Mr Grima also wants to educate exisiting and prospective dog breeders at Rockley Valley Park through one-day conferences held between six and 10 times a year.
“What I want to do is use this place to inspire other breeders to improve their standards,” he said.