DOG breeders will be forced to keep animal records and meet strict standards for minimum cage sizes, care and feeding under a crackdown on puppy farm cruelty.
The draft standards, released exclusively to The Courier-Mail, are the first step in a major industry overhaul that will include mandatory registration for big breeders and ask smaller-scale operators to register voluntarily.
A public campaign will also encourage buyers to dob in unscrupulous dealers and support only registered breeders.
The move is aimed at stamping out the scourge of puppy farms in which hundreds of animals are kept in squalid and cramped conditions, often with untreated diseases and little food.
RSPCA foster carer Francisca McDonald yesterday described her shock at the condition of 147 poodles seized after a major raid on a property at Waterford, south of Brisbane, in 2008.
She said the dogs were gaunt and terrified, with matted hair and weeping eyes after living in small transport crates.
Mrs McDonald, who owns three rescued dogs, said: "No dog should be put through that. No dog should have to have litter after litter just for financial gain. It's so sad."
Agriculture Minister Tim Mulherin hoped the standards, developed by Biosecurity Queensland with stakeholders including the RSPCA and Dogs Queensland, would lead to stronger court convictions for cruelty or breach of duty of care.
He said enhanced microchipping was likely to be introduced, allowing authorities to track pups back to their mothers, and catch dealers who flouted the law by over-breeding.