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...

New survey weighs up potential reasons behind the pet obesity crisis

Owners hold key to healthy weight by ignoring “begging” and monitoring food quantity A new international survey of pet owners has revealed that: Over half of cat and dog owners always or often give their pet food if they beg for it (54 percent) Almost a quarter (22 percent) of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their pet to keep them happy Only 20 percent always measure how much food they are giving them 87 percent always or often give their pet roughly what they think it needs at each serving There is remarkably little understanding of how much food cats and dogs need or what they should or should not eat and most owners have no idea whether their pet is overweight or not. Estimates suggest that as many at 59 percent of dogs and 52 percent of cats worldwide are overweight. Yet in the survey, only a quarter of cat and dog owners (24 percent) describe their pet as overweight. However, when asked whether their cat or dog exhibited any of the signs of being overweight, 64 percent indicated that their pet currently has at least one sign of being overweight (such as not being able to feel their pet’s ribs or having had to loosen their collar). The strong emotional bond between owners and their pets may be part of the issue. Many owners express affection for their pet through feeding which can easily lead to the pet consuming more calories than it needs. In the survey 59 percent of cat and dog owners said that they feel rewarded when feeding their pet and 77 percent...

Do you think about your pets mental health?

The biggest pet welfare problem in Australia is owners not taking care of their animals’ mental health, a vet behaviour specialist is warning. “We know that at least 20 per cent of dogs have some kind of anxiety issue, which is about the same rate as in people,” Dr Kersti Seksel. “I think the biggest ethical issue is that people won’t treat their animals for their mental health issues… for me that’s the welfare issue for the dog. “It’s nice to see we’re finally putting some money into dealing with mental health for humans and hopefully that’ll roll across and we can look after our pets better as well.” Dr Seksel is one of the country’s only behaviour specialists for animals which means she’s a psychiatrist for pets. She deals with all kind of ethical issues like owners asking for their pets to be put down because they can’t deal with them any more. “We unfortunately see that a lot if the owners don’t come to me early in the piece… we try and help as many dogs as we can and sometimes the owners are at the end of their tether and they don’t know what else to do,” she said. “I always try and explain to the owner what’s going and what the pet’s doing… for example the dog’s not trying to be bad or dominate but it’s actually distressed and once owners understand that it’s easier for them to look after their pet.” Joey, 16, hired a dog counsellor and trainer because his pets seemed unhappy. “I didn’t know the dogs were anxious but knowing that...

7 less obvious tips for travelling safely with your pet.

Travelling with our four-legged friends is sometimes a necessity and other times it is something we truly enjoy with them. Whether we’re taking them to a local veterinarian or half-way across the country for business or leisure, we need to take basic safety precautions to ensure this journey is safe for them.  There’s many obvious techniques we’re already implementing to ensure we all arrive safely at our chosen destination. For example, as human travelers we’re all buckled up and animals are either put into crates, secured into special harnesses or other devices used in the prevention of injury as the result of an unforeseen accident. It’s just common sense nowadays and in many places around the world, it’s becoming the law.  So let’s check out these other, sometimes less-obvious tips on how to safely transport our pets: 1 - Pit Stop Perils During long journeys, we all need to stop for bathroom and meal breaks or to simply stretch our legs after many hours in an automobile. Rest areas, campgrounds, parks and other outdoor areas are popular places to stop for a pet-friendly breather. But be sure you’re well educated on outdoor pests that could be a threat to your pets. 2 - H₂O Woes Also at these rest areas you’ll often find water, shade and other amenities, but when it comes to their H₂O consumption, you’re better off with bottled water. Your pet’s stomach or digestive system may react negatively to some of these unusual water sources. 3 - Travel Treasures While we’re already bringing along their food and water, dishes and leashes, don’t forget to pack their medications and...

Australian Pet Ownership Statistics

More than 62% of Australian households own a pet. Of these, 38% are dog owners and 29% are cat owners. In addition to this, 59% of people who do not currently own a pet admit that they would like to own one in the near future. According to a survey conducted by Animal Medicines Australia, the percentage of households with pets across the country can be broken down to: Northern Territory (82%)* Australian Capital Territory (75%) South Australia (68%) Tasmania (66%) Victoria (65%) New South Wales (60%) Queensland (58%) Western Australia (57%) *small sample size for Northern Territory means this should be interpreted with caution Australia has a similar pet ownership rate to America (65% of homes have a pet), and significantly more than the UK, in which just 40% of homes have a pet. Australia’s pet population is as follows; Dogs = 4.8 million Cats = 3.9 million Birds = 4.2 million Fish = 8.7 million Reptiles and small mammals= 952,000 Other = 1.6 million If these statistics don’t prove just how much we love our pets then perhaps this will; a higher proportion of us live in a house with a cat and/or a dog than with a child. The ratio of pets to the human population in Australia is around 101:100, meaning there are more animal companions than homo-sapiens. How much do people spend on their pets? According to the Animal Medicines Australia, Australians spend an enormous $12.2 billion per year on their furry family members. The RSPCA also estimates that the average dog costs roughly $13,000 over the course of its lifetime. Taking into consideration all pet costs,...
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