Campaigners fear thousands of Australians have unknowingly supported a cruel industry which produces designer dogs on mass, as families rushed to buy a new puppy during coronavirus lockdown.
Puppy farms across New South Wales sell dogs online or to pet shops, with aninals kept in squalid conditions and forced to breed and produce litters until they can no longer cope.
Shocking footage secretly filmed at the farms, and provided to Daily Mail Australia, show dogs living in vile conditions and at the brink of death.
The industry in NSW is largely self-regulated, according to animals rights groups, with cruelty on a unimaginable scale.
Emma Hurst, a member of the legislative council for the Animal Justice Party, is working to expose the dark side of the animal industry.
Puppy farms in New South Wales sell pets online or to pet shops, and see dogs kept in squalid conditions and forced to breed (pictured, dogs kept at a puppy farm in NSW)
Emma Hurst (pictured), a member of the legislative council for the Animal Justice Party, is working to expose the dark side of the animal industry
There are an estimated 200 puppy farms in New South Wales - which is a legal business operation - which produce 103,000 puppies (pictured, a puppy farm)
Dogs in puppy farms are often kept in awful conditions where they have little access to food and water (pictured, an exhausted dog lies on a filthy floor)
There are an estimated 200 puppy farms in NSW - which is a legal business operation - producing 103,000 puppies annually.
'Dogs are often living in filth, deprived of social interaction, and many suffer from illness and disease,' Ms Hurst said.
'We've seen numerous exposes of puppy farms in NSW where dogs have injuries, lack of food and water, and clearly haven't been given any veterinary care.'
She said female dogs used for breeding often have a lifetime of behavioural issues, fear and stress.
Ms Hurst added that dogs are often kept in small, empty crates for most of their life without ever seeing the daylight.
Dogs in puppy farms may never leave and instead used to produce as many litters as possible (pictured, a pregnant dog found at a NSW puppy farm)
Ms Hurst added that dogs are often kept in small, empty crates for most of their life without ever seeing the daylight (pictured, one of the mums found)
There is no exact figures on how many puppy farms operate in New South Wales due to the little regulation in the industry (pictured, dogs kept in cages)
Ms Hurst said there have been cases where new puppies has been with deadly illnesses like bronchopneumonia or kennel cough, and suddenly stopped breathing
'Most puppy farms are secretive and out of public view and are almost impossible for authorities to locate,' she said.
'There are likely thousands of dogs living in squalid conditions on these puppy farms, but because of secrecy of the industry and lack of proper regulation it's impossible to know exactly how many there really are.'
There isn't only the issue of where the pets are raised and the behavioural trauma it can cause, but puppies bred at the farms often suffer fatal health defects.
Ms Hurst said there have been cases where new puppies has been with deadly illnesses like bronchopneumonia or kennel cough, and suddenly stopped breathing.
Others have reported health issues such as hip dysplasia, ear infections, hernias and parvovirus - forcing their new owners to pay thousands in vet bills.
Others have reported health issues such as hip dysplasia, ear infections, hernias and parvovirus - forcing their new owners to pay thousands in vet bills
New South Wales has some of the weakest laws in the country when it comes to puppy farming (pictured, dogs kept in dark and filthy cages)
People convicted of animal cruelty have the ability to restart their puppy farming despite their crimes
New South Wales
Puppy farms are legal in NSW. The code of practice when it comes to the sale of dogs aren't linked to any legislation, meaning some can go years without inspection.
The industry in NSW is mainly self-regulated, according to animal rights groups, and there are no caps on dog numbers, and no caps on litter limits.
Victoria banned the sale of animals in pet shops unless they are from a registered shelter, rescue group or pound since July 1, 2018.
There is also a limit on how many litters and dog numbers in Victoria.
There is also an online register where people who want to sell an animal companion must register, which began on July 1, 2019.
Tasmania has similar circumstances to NSW.
There is legislation preventing there has to be a specific location on the business premises where dogs are killed.
They can't be killed in front of other dogs or people.
There is a code of practice and breeder's licence system in ACT, which was introduced in 2015.
However the sale of animals in pet shops is still allowed in the territory.
The sale of pets in pet shops and puppy farms are