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Dog breeders say Victoria won’t have enough search-and-rescue and drug-sniffing dogs if proposed laws aren’t changed.

They also believe prices for household pets will skyrocket thanks to onerous new council restrictions aimed at stopping illegal puppy farmers.

Search and Rescue Dogs Australia’s Julie Cowan says limits on puppy numbers and a costly enforcement regime would force them out of business.

“It’d be devastating for us breeders who are trying to supply a specific gene pool for working dogs, and supplying them to all service agencies, government agencies,” Ms Cowan told reporters on Tuesday.

The labrador breeder said Victoria Police and the army looked for specific types of dogs, and new laws would limit how many she could supply.

“They would probably go somewhere else, and may not get as good a quality (of) dogs,” Ms Cowan said.

Dogs Victoria is concerned the new laws will add a further layer of costly rules to breeders trying to do the right thing, but won’t crack down on illegal backyard breeders.

The organisation is also worried councils can’t afford to enforce the new rules, so will pass costs onto breeders through expensive licence fees and compliance regimes.

Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford last week announced amendments to the proposed puppy farm laws to address Dogs Victoria’s concerns.

“We know there are unscrupulous puppy farmers who take out a membership as a cover to what they’re doing,” Ms Pulford told reporters.

But Dogs Victoria’s Terri MacDonald said the amendments didn’t address concerns for registered breeders, with commercial breeders moving to NSW and illegal operators continuing as normal.

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