Canberra set to recognise animals as ‘sentient beings’ that are able to feel and perceive in an Australian first.

Pet owners who keep their dogs locked up and do not allow them to exercise for longer than one day could face a fine of up to $4,000 under sweeping changes that enshrine animal feelings into ACT law. Key points: New laws include harsher fines for mistreatment Fines will apply for injuring an animal and not reporting it — including hitting a kangaroo Under the new laws people can legally break into cars to protect animals Under the bill, confinement is judged on the dog’s size, age and physical condition. And anyone found confining a dog for longer than 24 hours would have to provide two hours of exercise or pay the fine. But provisions do exist within the legislation for reasonable restraints, such as chicken coops, bird cages and cat containment areas. Under the proposed laws the ACT would become the first jurisdiction in the country to recognise animals as “sentient beings” — the idea that animals are able to feel and perceive the world. The concept recognises that “animals have intrinsic value and deserve to be treated with compassion” and “people have a duty to care for the physical and mental welfare of animals”. “The science tells us that animals are sentient,” ACT City Services Minister Chris Steel said. “I know with my dog he gets very excited when we’re about to go on a run. “I think most dog owners, most cat owners know their animals do feel emotion.” The animal welfare amendments, to be introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly this week, would establish a suite of additional offences, including hitting or kicking an animal,...

Selling or giving away a cat or dog? – The rules have changed in NSW

From 1 July 2019, people advertising kittens, cats, puppies or dogs for sale or to give away in NSW will need to include an identification number in advertisements.  The identification number can be either: a microchip number a breeder identification number, OR a rehoming organisation number. The rules will apply to all advertisements, including those in newspapers, local posters, community notice boards and all forms of online advertising, including public advertisements on websites such as the Trading Post, Gumtree and social media sites. The changes have been implements in response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Companion Animal Breeding Practices The changes help people looking to buy a cot or dog search the NSW Pet Registry to see the animal’s: breed sex age whether it is desexed whether or not it is already registered whether any annual permit is in place (from 1 July 2019). A breeder identification number search will also display any business name listed in the registry. This enables buyers to do further research and make information purchasing decisions.  It also helps to promote responsible cat and dog breeding and selling and, over time, enable enforcement agencies to use this information to identify ‘problem’ breeders to enforce animal welfare laws. Please see the NSW Department of Primary Industries website for further...

Consultation on Standards & Guidelines for the Health and Welfare of Dogs in WA

The Western Australian Government recognises the value of animal welfare to the community and strives to ensure that all animals receive appropriate standards of care. As companions and working animals, dogs have an important place in the lives of many Western Australians. Draft Standards and Guidelines for the Health and Welfare of Dogs in WA (Dog Standards and Guidelines) are being developed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, in consultation with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Western Australia (RSPCA) and other experts in dog care and welfare. The document sets out the minimum standards that owners and people in charge of dogs must follow to ensure the health and welfare of dogs kept in WA. It also provides guidelines and additional information to promote the health and welfare of dogs. The recommendations are based on current scientific knowledge and generally reflect recommended industry practice and community expectations, as appropriate. The development of dog standards supports the Government’s election commitment to the Stop Puppy Farming initiative, which includes the introduction of Mandatory Standards for Dog Breeding, Housing, Husbandry, Transport and Sale. More information on the Stop Puppy Farming project can be found on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website. Following consultation, regulations on dog health and welfare may be drafted and adopted under the Animal Welfare Act 2002. Before drafting regulations, the department invites Western Australians to comment on the draft Dog Standards and Guidelines. Having your say You are encouraged to provide your feedback via an online survey, which takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. The results...

Service NSW can now register dogs and cats

Service NSW can now register dogs and cats The NSW Government is pleased to announce that Service NSW has been added to the list of registration agents to give pet owners an additional, convenient option to register their pets.  Dog and cat owners across the State can now register their pets through Service NSW, as well as at their local council, Animal Welfare League, Cat Protection Society or online at the NSW Pet Registry. Eligible pet owners will be able to register their pets with Service NSW in person at a Service NSW centre or kiosk or online using their MyServiceNSW account, which will link customers with their NSW Pet Registry account.  Making pet registration easier supports the NSW Government’s aim of increasing the proportion of registered cats and dogs and improving companion animal management and welfare outcomes. All registration fees go directly into the Companion Animal Fund. This will also apply to fees collected by Service NSW. Money collected goes straight back to the community by funding companion animal services including: Council pounds/shelters Ranger services Dog recreation areas Education and awareness activities Responsible pet ownership initiatives. New and improved NSW Pet Registry Last year the Office of Local Government made some significant updates to the NSW Pet Registry to enable a fresh look, easier navigation and great new features. The upgraded website makes it easier to register pets, return lost animals to their owners and enables access to useful data for people thinking of buying a pet. Here are the changes at a glance: Create/add a litter – This allows pet breeders to create a litter and add offspring, making it easier for vets...

Keeping your pets safe from snake bites this summer

In the warmer summer months, snakes become much more active and pet owners need to be careful and safeguard their pets from snake bites, plus look out for the warning signs should an animal be bitten. Dogs will often try to chase or kill snakes resulting in snake bites usually to the dog’s face and legs. Cats, being hunters and chasing anything that moves, are also quite susceptible to snake bites. The sort of reaction your pet has to a snake bite is determined by a number of factors: the type of snake, the amount of venom injected and the site of the snake bite. Generally the closer the bite is to the heart the quicker the venom spreads to the rest of the body. In addition, at the beginning of summer, snakes’ venom glands are fuller and their bites are much more severe. The tiger and brown snake are responsible for most of the snake bites in domestic pets. The tiger snakes have a bite that can be fatal to not only pets but humans. Brown snake venom is milder than the tiger snake’s. These snakes have a toxin that causes paralysis and also have an agent in them that uses up all the clotting factors that helps to stop your pet from bleeding. Tiger snakes also have a toxin that breaks down muscle causing damage to the kidneys. Signs of snake bite include: Sudden weakness followed by collapse Shaking or twitching of the muscles and difficulty blinking Vomiting Loss of bladder and bowel control Dilated pupils Paralysis Blood in urine. If you think your pet has been...

Pets assisting in our better management of mental health disorders

The positive effects that pets have on people have been well-researched. From research conducted by the University of Manchester1 suggests that pets can help people who are living with a mental illness to manage their condition. President of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), Dr Paula Parker says: “the human-animal bond plays a crucial and positive role in the health and wellbeing of the community”. “Benefits can include companionship, health and social improvements and assistance for people with special needs. “This research takes our knowledge about the human-animal bond a step further suggesting that pets can help people who are struggling with a serious mental illness to manage their mental health. “Only through more research like this, can we come to better understand just how increasingly valuable animals are to an individual’s wellbeing and the community,” she said. The study involved 54 participants with a severe mental illness, for example, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Twenty-five of the participants identified a pet as being important in the everyday management of their illness. What’s more, of these 25 participants, more than half identified their pet as being one of the most important things to them in managing their mental health. “There’s already strong evidence to indicate that owning a pet brings health benefits including physical health benefits, for example, dog owners increase their exercise by walking their pet. “Research also suggests that pets have positive effects on the community. A study2 conducted by the University of Western Australia found that pets facilitate first meetings and conversations between neighbours, with over 60 per cent of dog owners reporting that they got to know...

Animal welfare Standards & Guidelines for breeding dogs & their progeny – Qld Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries

The Palaszczuk Government is committed to promoting the responsible breeding of dogs and ensuring action can be taken against breeders for irresponsible dog breeding practices. The next step is to introduce the Queensland Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Breeding Dogs and their Progeny (Standards and Guidelines) from 1 October 2018. The Standards and Guidelines describe appropriate care, management, shelter and socialisation of breeding dogs. The Standards are mandatory requirements and the Guidelines are advice on recommended practices to achieve desirable animal welfare outcomes. These Standards and Guidelines complement the 2017 introduction of compulsory dog breeder registration. The new Standards are compulsory code provisions under the Queensland Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Act) from 1 October 2018. All dog breeders, including those breeding pets, working dogs, hunting dogs or breeding dogs for commercial purposes are subject to the new Standards. Those breeders who are already caring for their breeding dogs in responsible and appropriate ways should not be significantly impacted by the new Standards. Those breeders not meeting the new Standards of care, management, shelter, socialisation or housing will have to be improve upon their practices in order to comply. The new Standards and Guidelines may be a useful tool for pet shop owners to assess whether a puppy supplier is breeding dogs responsibly. More information  Copies of the Standards and Guidelines and advice will be publicly available from 1 October 2018 from: The Queensland government website: www.business.qld.gov.au The Customer Service Centre of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries by: Phone: 13 25 23 (cost of a local call within Queensland) 8 am to 5 pm Monday, Tuesday,...

Consider your pet’s mental health this Mental Health Week

During this Mental Health Week, the peak body for veterinarians, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is reminding pet owners that like humans, pets can suffer from mental illness and it’s important that we keep a watchful eye on the mental health of not just people, but also their pets. Spokesperson for the AVA and veterinary behaviour specialist, Dr Jacqui Ley, says that psychiatry is part of veterinary science because much like humans, animals too can develop mental health disorders and it’s important to diagnose them and commence treatment as early as possible. “While there is no hard evidence on the rate of mental illness in animals, it’s reasonable to conclude that statistically it’s the same as in humans – that is, one in five suffer from a mental health condition. Given the number of pets that end up in shelters because of a behaviour-related problem, one in five is certainly a reasonable, possibly conservative statistic. “The key is for pet owners to seek veterinary advice if they notice unusual behaviour in their pet. Some dog owners go direct to a trainer for help, but your veterinarian should always be the first port of call. They will then be able to advise on next steps,” she said. In dogs, mental illness commonly manifests in the form of: aggression towards people or animals fears and phobias, for example of thunderstorms compulsion such as tail or shadow chasing cognitive decline in older dogs. Dr Ley says that as dogs age, it’s normal to expect the brain to slow down a bit, but some are developing serious cognitive health conditions such as dementia...

Grooming Stylist Required – Beau’s Pet Hotel

Casual position with flexible hours Values driven organisation, fun & supportive team environment Adelaide Airport precinct location Beau’s is a state of the art Pet Hotel that offers a safe and loving holiday experience for pets, offering both standard and luxury accommodation for cats and dogs, as well as high quality grooming services. Beau’s is conveniently located in the Adelaide Airport precinct. All profits from Beau’s Pet Hotel are returned to Guide Dogs SA/NT to enhance the lives of people living with disability. We are seeking an experienced, self-motivated Groomer to provide consistently high quality dog grooming services to Beau’s growing clientele. Our Groomers will offer exceptional service and education to customers and develop lasting relationships with a strong focus on developing annual dog grooming management programs.  They are also responsible for providing high quality grooming services across a variety of breeds including bathing, drying, nail clipping, ear cleaning, brushing, combing, de-sheds, sanitary trims, scissoring, full clips, parasite control and other ‘a la carte’ grooming services as required. It is important to us that our Groomers have a minimum of 2 years’ experience and can demonstrate strong interpersonal skills. Beau’s is a positive reinforcement environment and our groomers are required to use a reward based methodology. For a copy of the Position Description, click here. Please send us your resume and cover letter addressing the requirements of the Position Description to: jobs@beaus.org.au. A Police Check is...

Fair Work Ombudsman – change in position for pet groomers employed by pet grooming businesses.

Following a decision of a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission earlier this year, the Fair Work Ombudsman has had to change its view on certain coverage issues relating to the Miscellaneous Award. In the decision, United Voice v Gold Coast Kennels Discretionary Trust t/a AAA Pet Resort [2018] FCWFB 128, the Full Bench adopted a narrower interpretation of occupations that are excluded from coverage under the Miscellaneous Award than has been understood to apply. Importantly for pet groomers employed by pet grooming businesses, this has resulted in a change in position regarding the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO’s) advice concerning award coverage for this occupation. The FWO has today published updated advice regarding award coverage for employees working as pet groomers for a pet grooming business. Please see our Library article Award coverage for pet groomers. Background to the change If an employee is not covered by an industry or occupation-based award, they may be covered by the Miscellaneous Award. Determining coverage under the Miscellaneous Award can be complex and, until recently, there has been limited guidance from a Court or Tribunal about how the coverage provisions in the award are intended to operate. On 12 January 2018, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission handed down a decision, United Voice v Gold Coast Kennels Discretionary Trust t/a AAA Pet Resort [2018] FCWFB 128, which took a broader approach to considering the exemption under clause 4.2 of the Award. The Full Bench found that employees will not be covered if they have not traditionally been regulated because they are a manager or a ‘specialist white collar professional’.[1]...

World Rabies day is on September 28

Australian animal charity shares a vital message on World Rabies Day Dog-mediated virus 99% fatal, 100% preventable World Rabies Day is on September 28 and Australian-based international animal charity Vets Beyond Borders is embracing this year’s awareness theme by bringing this deadly dog-mediated disease to Australia’s attention. “Rabies kills thousands of people around the world every year. It is nearly always fatal - only a few people in the world have survived treatment. But it’s 100 per cent preventable by vaccination,” said Maryann Dalton, CEO of Vets Beyond Borders (VBB). Rabies infection is caused by the rabies virus, which is spread through the saliva of infected animals by biting another animal or a person, and it is always fatal once clinical symptoms appear. Australia is free of rabies, but tragically the virus kills approximately 59,000 people every year – 40 per cent children in Asia and Africa¹. Rabies also causes financial hardship when people have to pay for vaccination after bite wounds.  An estimated more than 5.5 billion people live at daily risk of rabies². World Rabies Day is created and coordinated annually by Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. This year’s theme is Rabies: Share the message. Save a life and highlights the importance of education and awareness to prevent rabies.  Click here for GARC World Rabies Day awareness events in Australia. “Dog bites cause almost all human cases of rabies. We can prevent rabies deaths through increased awareness, vaccinating dogs to prevent disease at its source, and timely life-saving post-bite treatment for people,” said Ms Dalton. Through...

Act now and put a tick prevention plan in place for pets

With the warm weather now in play and the high season for ticks, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is encouraging pet owners to talk to their veterinarian now about ways to prevent serious harm or death from toxic ticks. President of the AVA Dr Paula Parker said that as the weather warms up, dog and cat owners need to be vigilant, particularly in tick prone areas.  “Ticks breed mainly along the east coast of Australia in warm and humid weather so now is the time for pet owners to ensure they take preventive measures to avoid what can sometimes be a fatal outcome,” she said. We now have highly effective, safe, APVMA approved tick preventatives for dogs and cats. Pet owners should speak to their local vet who can advise on the best prevention method for their situation and type of pet. “Paralysis ticks tend to attach to the head and neck area of the pet and on the chest and the front of the leg but can generally be found on any part of the body. Ticks release a toxin when they feed, which leads to a condition known as tick paralysis. Common signs of tick paralysis include difficulty walking, gurgling and choking. Dogs may not be able to bark properly.” Dr Parker said that ideally pet owners should check dogs and cats regularly by running their hands over the animal to feel for anything unusual. “In cats, ticks often latch around the neck where they can’t groom, so it’s important to pay special attention to this area. If you think your pet has a tick the best course...
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