Puppy broker banned from selling animals for three years continued to trade illegally

A puppy broker banned from operating a pet business allegedly sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of dogs under the noses of Victoria law enforcement.

Flora Mala was banned by a trial court from selling animals for three years, but operates from two properties in the Victoria area.

Animal activist group, Oscar’s Law, has been tracking the activities of Ms Mala and her alleged puppy brokerage syndicate and found dozens of allegedly illegal advertisements online for several breeds of puppies with advertised prices of up to at $6,500 a pop.

One of Ms Mala’s union members has already been fined $15,000 for selling a dog so emaciated and badly infested with worms that it nearly died.

Late last year, the syndicate advertised for $150,000 worth of dogs over a two-month period on Gumtree and Trading Post.

The dachshund puppies were on sale for $3,500.(Provided)

Some of the dogs were advertised with fake source numbers, which is a required identifier for anyone selling pets in Victoria.

ABC 7.30 spoke to Ms. Mala on the phone.

She denied selling any dogs in the past year.

Oscar’s Law founder Debra Tranter has been reporting the adverts to the local council, Animal Welfare Victoria and the Minister for Agriculture since October last year.

Ms Mala’s activities were also reported to the RSPCA in Victoria in January by a member of the public.

But Ms Tranter said the multiple reports and evidence she and others have submitted have not resulted in action by law enforcement agencies.

A woman cuddles a small dog.
Debra Tranter reported the puppy announcements to authorities.(ABC News)

“Their failure to act allowed this business to stay in business and sell puppies to the public,” Ms Tranter said.

All adverts linked to Ms Mala and her alleged union were removed on March 7, shortly after 7.30am contacted the Victorian Department of Agriculture for a response.

The RSPCA and Animal Welfare Victoria said at 7.30am they were supporting an ongoing multi-agency investigation into the breeding, breeding and selling of animals.

Victoria’s Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said in a statement that she clearly expects advertising platforms to remove any non-compliant pet advertising.

A new puppy came home with health issues

Victorian man Michael Beavis said at 7.30am he bought a puppy with multiple health complications from the suspected syndicate of Flora Mala.

A man cuddles a small white, black and tan colored puppy.
Michael Beavis purchased Trixie after seeing the puppy advertised online.(Provided: Michael Beavis )

He said he had some health issues himself last year when he started looking for a pet.

“I was looking for a rescue animal to adopt and they are not available,” he said.

“So I ended up going to Gumtree and Trading Post, and then I finally met Trixie.”

Mr. Beavis picked up the border collie from the ad at Ms. Mala’s home address and paid a union member $800.

However, he says his new dog, Trixie, started showing health issues within an hour of bringing her home.

Trixie was diagnosed with a series of medical issues including gastritis, canine coronavirus and giardia.

But when Mr. Beavis contacted the seller, she fell silent.

Mr. Beavis later discovered that Trixie’s vaccination certificate was not complete and that her source number was wrong. This meant that the true identity of the seller could not be traced.

A man wearing a cap and a t-shirt
Michael Beavis says he got no response when he tried to contact his dog’s seller about Trixie’s health issues.(ABC News)

He complained to the RSPCA about the seller and provided a statement, however, the RSPCA closed their investigation into the matter without result, saying the seller could not be identified.

Frustrated with the outcome, Mr Beavis contacted Ms Tranter of Oscar’s Law, who was able to confirm that Trixie had been sold by Flora Mala’s suspected syndicate.

A few months later, members of Oscar’s Law posed as shoppers and purchased a puppy directly from Ms. Mala while secretly recording their interaction.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to search, up and down arrows for volume.
Play the video.  Duration: 41 seconds

A video shows Flora Mala accepting money in exchange for a French bulldog puppy

The video recording shows Ms Mala accepting an envelope with cash in exchange for a French bulldog puppy.

This video has also been shared with several law enforcement and government agencies.

Puppy Breeding Capital of Australia

The increase in puppy brokerage operations is believed to be a result of the increased focus on puppy breeding in Victoria.

The state recently introduced a number of restrictions on pet breeding, including a cap of 10 dogs per breeding facility.

In New South Wales there are no such limits, which means that an increasing number of breeders from Victoria have moved across the border.

NSW Animal Justice MP Emma Hurst introduced legislation to tighten the law in her state last year.

His bill sparked a parliamentary inquiry into animal welfare laws.

A woman with long hair sits on the floor with her arm around a dog.
NSW MLC Emma Hurst is campaigning for tougher laws on animal cruelty and puppy farms. (Provided: Emma Hurst)

Ms Hurst said NSW had become “the puppy breeding capital of Australia”.

“In New South Wales it is perfectly legal for someone to set up an intensive industrial dog farm with, say, 600 female dogs and force them to pump litter after litter for their entire lives,” she said. declared.

In the New South Wales border town of Moama, Murray River Council Mayor Chris Bilkey told 7.30am the area had seen a 500% increase in requests for intensive dog breeding over the past past year.

Mr Bilkey said he was confident the increase was the result of new puppy farm laws in Victoria.

Mayor of Murray River Council Chris Bilkey wearing a suit and looking at the camera.
Councilor Chris Bilkey says his area has seen a 500% increase in requests for intensive dog breeding over the past year.(Provided)

“This made it attractive for puppy farmers, who were in Victoria, who were no longer willing or able to comply with these new regulations, to move their operation across the border to NSW,” said said Mr. Bilkey.

Mr Bilkey said he was concerned about a particular development request for a breeding facility housing 320 dogs in Moama in April last year.

The establishment is owned by a man who moved to Moama from Victoria after pleading guilty to two animal cruelty charges and being banned from running a pet business in that state for 10 years.

The council approved the breeding facility, but Mr Bilkey said he had no choice.

“Our lawyers told us that this [refusal] was a road to land and environmental court and one that we would definitely lose,” he said.

“It was one of the most horrific decisions I have ever been involved in and the lingering taste in our mouths was appalling.”

Mr Bilkey is one of 65 local councilors who signed a letter to the Premier of NSW last year urging him to take urgent action on the issue of large-scale dog breeding facilities in the state .

Watch this story at 7:30 p.m. tonight on ABC TV and ABC iview

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