ANIMAL-WELFARE advocates will wait anxiously for the next Blacktown Council meeting after the long-awaited pound desexing policy split the council last week.
Most councillors voted to adopt a policy that would see all animals sold from Blacktown Animal Holding Facility desexed mandatorily, which has been the option pushed by welfare advocates.
But the policy is far from secured. The three Labor councillors who voted for mandatory desexing expect their caucus will compel them to vote for the voluntary desexing policy favoured by the party.
Labor councillor Leo Kelly, who supports mandatory desexing, did not understand why some colleagues thought people had a right to breed animals from the pound.
"Some of my colleagues think if you want to breed animals then you've got a right to do it but if you want to breed you should have a licence," he said.
Cr Kelly said the backyard breeding of animals was a virtual black-market operation that was tax-free.
He said mandatory desexing at the pound would stop those animals breeding if they escaped or were abandoned by their owners.
If the Labor caucus held him to support the alternative policy, Cr Kelly said he would ask for an amendment that required potential owners of "intact" animals be "screened" before purchase. Mayor Alan Pendleton has long-supported voluntary desexing at the pound. He said people should have the right to buy an intact, or undesexed, animal from the pound if they wanted.
He said sterilising animals at the pound was to say "none of our residents are responsible enough to own an entire animal".
"Breeding a pet, having the family watch and learn about it, is an experience that's a part of life," he said.