Study shows owner misconceptions about their cats lifestyle may be placing their pets at risk.

Australians may think their indoor cats are safe and protected inside their homes, but research reveals that 83% of Australian cats have some level of outdoor access, which increases their risk of traumatic injuries, and their exposure to infectious and parasitic diseases. To mark International Cat Day, the Have We Seen Your Cat Lately? Program is putting the spotlight on the hidden health risks Australian cat owners may not be aware of. A recently conducted Feline Lifestyle Study*, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, showed that 66% of cat owners described their cats as having outdoor access, while 34% said their cats were indoor only. However, further questioning revealed that more than half of these “indoor only” cats actually had outdoor access. In total, 83% of pet cats had some form of outdoor access during their lives.1 Media Release - Have we seen your cat lately...

Charity supporting people and pets in need urgently seeking new site in Melbourne

On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 are homeless. Today, 22,773 people are experiencing homelessness in Victoria* Pets in the Park (PITP) has been operating in central Melbourne since 2016, providing free veterinary care for much-loved animal companions of people struggling with homelessness. Today, PITP Central Melbourne clinic are seeking a new venue themselves due to demolition and development work. This means they can no longer use their current location and cannot operate until they find a new site. “We knew that this location was always on borrowed time, but it came as a real surprise how quickly it happened and that’s no one’s fault. We are so grateful for the support from Wesley Church who were able to provide this location for two years,” said PITP Director Dr Mark Kelman.  Many people struggling with homelessness lead a difficult and isolated life, particularly those who struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. But for those with pets, their companion animals act as their refuge and give many a reason to live. “For many homeless people, having a pet provides the unconditional love, companionship, emotional support and security that they’re unable to find elsewhere,” said Dr Kelman. However, although pet ownership greatly enriches the quality of life of those who are experiencing homelessness, it can at times come at a significant financial cost and result in the forfeiting of personal welfare. This is where Pets in the Park comes in to help! PITP’s volunteer veterinarians and veterinary nurses provide free veterinary care at health clinics and quarterly desexing clinics for much-loved animal companions of people struggling with homelessness across...

August is Pet Dental Health Month

August is Pet Dental Health Month and pet owners are being encouraged to speak to their veterinarian about what they can do to ensure their pet maintains good oral health. Dental disease is common in Australian pets. If left untreated, it can be painful and lead to serious health concerns. Dr Tara Cashman, spokesperson for the AVA, said Pet Dental Month highlights the importance of good oral health in pets and its impact on the overall health of an animal. It also raises awareness of the need for yearly thorough dental exams performed by a veterinarian to identify any emerging dental issues. “Dental disease occurs above and below the gum line. It’s extremely difficult to get a full picture of what’s going on in a pet’s mouth when it is conscious because disease below the gum line can’t be seen. “To properly examine, diagnose and treat dental disease in pets, it must be done by a veterinarian while the animal is anaesthetised. This ensures the experience is a positive one for the pet because it is unaware of pain during the procedure and does not need to be physically restrained. “A general anaesthetic also ensures the veterinarian can complete a thorough inspection of every single tooth above and below the gum line and address any problems on the spot. This is not possible to do effectively on a fully conscious patient,” Dr Cashman said. In its early stages, gum disease or gingivitis is reversible. However, if left undetected it may progress to periodontitis which can impact heavily on a pet’s quality of life. The longer it’s left untreated, the...

PIAA partner with Animal Medicines Australia to develop a “Responsible Pet Ownership” resource

“The Pet Industry Association of Australia has a strong focus on responsible pet ownership and we were very keen to be involved in this initiative when AMA approached us”, said Mark Fraser, PIAA CEO. If you are thinking about sharing your life with a pet, this resource was developed as a useful checklist to help you be a responsible pet owner.  If you already own a pet, this resource can also help you and your pet share the many health, social and mental benefits that responsible pet ownership brings. Ben Stapley, Executive Director of Animal Medicines Australia, said: ” Responsible pet ownership is good for owners and their pets.  This resource was designed to help potential and existing pet owners understand what responsible pet ownership entails.” For this downloadable resource, please click...

Key changes & improvements to PIAA Grooming Competitions

The role of the PIAA is to defend the industry, so that all of our members can continue to operate at a standard that ensures our long term viability. Ultimately its about ensuring that every Australian continues to have the right and ability to own and enjoy the love of a pet. We as groomers have a key role to play within this. Grooming Shows are an important part of our sector. They are a chance to showcase our skills, compete and learn from others and to use the recognition of winning to build loyalty and awareness of our expertise amongst our client base. They are also an important way to showcase the training and skills required to be a professional groomer. As Grooming Director, many of you have shared with me your frustrations, desires and ways to improve the competitions the PIAA currently hosts. At the most recent Board Meeting I have recommended and achieved support for some significant changes. There are lots of changes affecting grooming competitions in general. The biggest change in recent years has been the rapid increase in privately hosted grooming competitions that are giving our members much welcomed broader access in many states. This is also reducing available competitors for some of the competitions, especially the Royals. Changes in the way the PIAA awarded prizes was also a key frustration, where prize money only went to members. The amount of prize money is also a big frustration as the costs associated with attending shows continues to rise. The first step is to ‘do less and do it better’. The initial focus is to...

Lets keep Australia Pet Friendly

Proposed changes to rental legislation in Victoria will open up doors for pet owners and the rest of the nation should follow their lead. Australian TV vet and author, Dr Chris Brown is a firm advocate for changing the stigma around pets in rentals and strata. “Australia is a nation of animal lovers, but our pets deserve a place in our homes as well as our hearts! We need a culture change in the way that landlords and strata corporations see our pets – not to ban them by default, but to look at the family and the pet’s individual personality. Pets have such an incredible impact on people’s lives – we can’t lock the renting generation out of the benefits of pet ownership” said Brown. A new nationwide survey conducted by Mars Petcare Australia, has revealed that more than 4.3 million Australians struggle to find a suitable place to live with their pet. The survey shows that more than three million Aussies aren’t able to keep pets on their properties, and nearly half of all Australians do not know how to apply for a pet from their landlord or strata committee. A staggering 54 per cent of apartment dwellers don’t understand Australia’s regulations and laws about pets or where to find useful information to prepare themselves about this topic. 19 million Australians are not allowed a petwhere they live 82% of Australian pet owners say pets improve their quality of life A further 62% of Australians say that the love of a pet provides emotional benefitsand 56% say that their pet provides mental health benefits. 48% of renters, or apartment dwellers, do not know how to apply for a...

Buying pets online: what you see is not always what you get!

The internet has dramatically changed the way people find their new pets; but what are the dangers of buying a pet online? “We don’t know exactly how many pets are sold online in Australia, but recent research into the numbers of dogs and cats advertised for sale online indicate that tens of thousands of pets are advertised every year. “It’s not uncommon to come across misleading ads or outright scams online. There have been many cases of people receiving a sick or diseased animal, or a breed unlike the description in the online ad. The truth is, it’s difficult for members of the public to differentiate between good and bad ads,”  said Dr Susan Hazel from the University of Adelaide. Another concern with the online sale of pets is that animals traded online can often arrive with a blank medical history. Dr Hazel says that while responsible pet owners will advise potential new owners of a health or behavioural problem, not all owners are responsible. “Even people who want to do the right thing might mislead a potential owner. If a seller is desperate to find their pet a new home, they may not disclose the real reasons for giving it up,” Dr Hazel said. Fortunately, not all websites that advertise pets for sale are bad. “There are also some highly reputable websites like PetRescue that help to find homes for surrendered pets in shelters or pounds,” Dr Hazel said. AVA President, Dr Paula Parker said that it’s important for websites or online trading platforms that advertise dogs and cats for sale to follow standards that support animal welfare...

Stop Puppy Farming – WA Public Consultation Now Open

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries has launched a consultation paper outlining a range of proposals to prevent puppy farms in WA. The paper outlines the Government’s proposed measures to stop puppy farming in WA by introducing: mandatory de-sexing of dogs unless an exemption is requested for breeding purposes or for reasons stated by a registered veterinarian; a centralised registration system to ensure every dog and puppy can be identified at the point of sale or adoption, including in advertisements for sale; mandatory standards for dog breeding, housing, husbandry, transport and sale; and the transition of pet shops into adoption centres that will only sell puppies and dogs from approved rescue organisations and animal shelters. The paper has been drafted with the input of the Stop Puppy Framing Implementation Working Group, which consists of expert representatives of key stakeholder organisations. As a member of the working group, the Pet Industry Association of Australia has shared insights into how the provisions will affect pet shop businesses in WA.  How to have your say  Community feedback is essential to enable a well-informed decision on the impact of the changes across the broader community, industry and government sector. Members of the public are invited to have their say on the measures by: Completing the online survey at dlgsc.wa.gov.au/stoppuppyfarming Completing the submission form and emailing it to puppyfarming@dlgsc.wa.gov.au Attending a workshop. Register online at dlgsc.wa.gov.au/stoppuppyfarming Feedback on the measures must be submitted to the Department by Friday, 3 August 2018. For more information, please contact...

Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms & Pet Shops) Act 2017 VIC now in operation

The Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Act 2017 (PFPS Act) and supporting Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Regulations 2018 are now in operation. Key changes include: new definitions for breeders transitional provisions for dog breeding establishments to reduce relevant fertile female dogs to 10 transitional provisions for commercial dog breeder approval requirements, which caps breeding limits at 50 relevant fertile female dogs restrictions on co-registration for breeding businesses a foster carer registration scheme animal sale permit scheme declared bird organisation scheme expanded enforcement powers for council authorised officers revised date for council Domestic Animal Management Plans. Please note, minor updates will be made to the Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses 2014 (revised 2015) to reflect the PFPS Act. Updates will not include any new requirements outside of the current laws and regulations. As of 1 July 2018, pet shops will only be able to accept and sell cats (8 weeks or older) and dogs (six months or older) obtained through an approved source. Approved sources are: pounds registered as domestic animal businesses with their local council shelters registered as domestic animal businesses with their local council individual foster carers registered with their local council under the foster carer scheme. Fact Sheet - Animal Sale Permit Fact Sheet - Commercial Dog Breeders Fact Sheet - General Fact Sheet - Pet Shops...

Mars Petcare signs agreement with REDcycle

Mars Petcare Australia has signed a partnership agreement with REDcycle which provides a route for its dry pet food bags and flexible pouches to be recycled into a range of outdoor products. As the first Australian pet food company to join the program, the agreement represents an opportunity for millions of tonnes of plastic to be recycled helping to stop the progression to landfill and contamination of our environment. Mars Petcare Australia’s General Manager Barry O’Sullivan said: “We’re proud to join the REDcycle Program and share the responsibility for the packaging’s best end-of-life outcome by collaborating with our retailers and our customers.” “Our (Mars) Sustainable in a Generation Plan is designed to help us grow in ways that are good for people, good for the planet and good for business. Today we’re thrilled that through the initiative of our Associates, we have a solution to help combat environmental harm and supports our ambition to be a leader in sustainability” REDcycle’s program is a supermarket-based recycling program that invites consumers to gather together their empty soft plastic packaging and unwanted shopping bags and return them to their nearest Coles or Woolworths supermarket for recycling. In partnership with Coles and Woolworths, REDcycle currently provides Australian consumers with over 900 retail drop-off points. By partnering with REDcycle, Mars Petcare Australia joins FMCG brands such as Helga’s, Kellogg’s, Arnott’s and Birds Eye. Once collected, REDcycle in conjunction with Australian manufacturer Replas, recycles the plastic into a range of sturdy products suitable for use in schools, parks and public spaces. The range includes outdoor furniture, decking, dog agility and human fitness circuits, signage, bollards...

AVA media statement – Megaoesophagus in Dogs

Following several recently confirmed cases of megaoesophagus in dogs, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is advising dog owners who have concerns about their dog’s health to seek veterinary advice. AVA President, Dr Paula Parker said that megaoesophagus is a syndrome that affects the normal function of an animal’s oesophagus. “The oesophagus is a muscular tube that carries food from the mouth, through the chest into the stomach. When an animal has ‘megaoesophagus’, the tube becomes distended and food doesn’t move normally towards the stomach. “Animals with megaoesophagus can regurgitate their food and can have difficulty or show reluctance to eat. Animals with megaoesophagus are more likely to aspirate or breathe in food or fluid into their lungs and so some animals may present with coughing or other changes to their breathing pattern. “Megaoesophagus in animals is a complex syndrome that occurs due to trauma to the oesophagus or dysfunction of the nerve and muscle that controls movement of the oesophagus. The treatment for megaoesophagus depends on the underlying cause of the dysfunction. This makes thorough investigation of this syndrome so important. As veterinarians, we also use several strategies, which we tailor to the individual animal to assist us to manage the symptoms. “As with any pet illness, it’s essential that owners who are concerned about their pet’s health speak to their veterinarian as soon as possible,” Dr Parker said. The AVA has reached out to its members to report any suspected cases of food-related illness through the PetFAST system. This allows us to track and trace any trends related to food associated illness in pets so that further action...

Stop Puppy Farming Implementation Working Group Communique to Member Organisations.

Stop Puppy Farming Implementation Working Group Communique to Member Organisations March 2018  The Stop Puppy Farming Implementation Working Group met on Thursday, 8 March 2018. Representatives from the following organisations attended the meeting: Australian Federation for Livestock Working Dogs​ Australian Veterinary Association​ Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (Consumer Protection division)​​ Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Animal Welfare Regulation division)​ Dogs West Local Government Professionals Australia WA Oscar’s Law​​ Pet Industry Association of Australia ​​​​​Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals​ WA Local Government Association WA Rangers Association. ​ The representative from Dogs Refuge Home WA was an apology for the meeting. Mandatory Dog Breeding Standards Representatives from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) presented to the Implementation Working Group on the development and progression of the mandatory dog breeding standards. DPIRD provided an overview of: their role in animal welfare regulation in WA, the progression of amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (AWA) and why they were needed (they will allow for the adoption of standards and guidelines under the AWA); the priority to draft standards on dog breeding; the consultation process they will undertake to consult on the detailed standards; the inclusion of a section on mandatory dog breeding standards in the stop puppy farming consultation paper. DPIRD advised that draft standards would be completed sometime in April 2018 and that they would undertake consultation with key stakeholders to ensure the standards were consistent with industry practice, before consulting with the broader community. Update on the stop puppy farming consultation paper A...
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