I am pleased to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer for the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA).
Having closely followed recent media coverage I acknowledge this is a challenging time for both the PIAA and the wider pet industry.
My view, is that our organisation needs to do better.
My mission as CEO will be to ensure PIAA not only insists on the highest of animal welfare standards from all its members, but is also seen as one of the driving forces in reforming areas of an industry that for too long have gone unregulated.
I endorse PIAA’s recommendation to the Joint Select Committee on Companion Animal Breeding Practices that a mandatory, user pays licensing system be established to further regulate all pet shops and breeders across NSW.
I will also move quickly to investigate any failures on the part of our PIAA membership, or the association itself to uphold the high animal welfare standards the public expects of us.
I am interested in leading an organisation that does its best to care for animals, not one that is unable to stop those who seek to exploit them.
During my previous six years at the Australian Veterinary Association I have worked on numerous animal welfare issues, helped develop policies, engaged with relevant companion animal entities and government departments and dealt very closely with veterinarians, with the prime focus always being animal welfare.
I look forward to bringing these same ideals to PIAA and not only ensuring that animal welfare is first and foremost in all that we do, but also endeavouring to create a culture and ethos that is not only respected, but seen as the benchmark for the industry.
In doing so, I look forward to working in alignment with other industry bodies such as the RSPCA, AVA and AWL and encouraging a transparent pet industry sector that is both accountable, respectable and ably functional.
I believe that companion animals provide numerous benefits to humans and that it is a privilege to be a pet owner. As proud owners of Murphy, a 60kg Bernese mountain dog, my family and I appreciate the joys of a four legged family member and simultaneously the responsibilities that go with them.
As a former teacher I am also passionate about education. I believe in the power and benefits of learning and look to bring this passion to my role, not only to be able to deliver quality education to members, but to also ensure that we do all we can to educate the general public in the responsibilities of pet ownership.
I look forward to working closely with our membership to deliver real services that add value to, what are, predominantly small businesses run by animal lovers who delight in bringing together new owners with the companion animals that will accompany them for many happy years to come.