THE developer of a proposed dog breeding facility on the outskirts of Bathurst says there is no room for “rogue operators” in the industry.
John Grima plans to build an $841,000 breeding facility at 1557 Rockley Road, Fosters Valley - about 21 kilometres south of Bathurst.
A development application has been lodged with Bathurst Regional Council and plans for the facility have been put on public display until Monday.
Mr Grima’s proposal has faced a barrage on criticism on social media this week, both from people objecting to “puppy farms” on principle and by others concerned about that the proposed breeding facility would be built near koala “feed trees” on Black Mountain.
However, in a letter to the Western Advocate [published today], Mr Grima says he has worked in the pet industry for 34 years and is “acutely aware” of people’s concern for animal welfare.
“It’s this connection with animals and care for their wellbeing that motivates so many individuals, couples and families to make the major commitment of bringing a dog into their home,” Mr Grima said.
“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.”
Mr Grima owns Kellyville Pets at Beaumont Hills in north-west Sydney and is developing the breeding facility to supply pets for sale.
He also sits on the board of the Pet Industry Association.
This is Mr Grima’s first foray into breeding and he says the Fosters Valley facility will set a new benchmark for the industry in Australia.
“It will feature grassed exercise areas, insulated kennels with under-slab heating and socialisation yards,” he said.
“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.”
A spokesperson for Mr Grima said they had looked at around 30 sites for the breeding facility before settling on the 100 hectare block at Fosters Valley.
The spokesperson said Fosters Valley was chosen because it was close to the university, a range of veterinarians and good employment prospects in Bathurst; was close to Sydney to limit travel for the dogs; and had good soil for growing grass.