Animal care code ‘endangers’ strays

Monash Weekly (Vic); BY CAROLINE TANG; 6 dec 2010

ANIMAL rescuers have slammed a Department of Primary Industries bureau for putting more stray animals at risk of being culled.

A July bulletin, sent by the Bureau of Animal Welfare, reminded municipalities that it was illegal for them to give stray, abandoned or unwanted cats and dogs to unregistered animal rescue groups.

Dog Rescue Association of Victoria president Trisha Taylor said enforcing the existing law would shut volunteers down and cause more animals to be killed.

“The Bureau of Welfare makes it so difficult for rescue groups.

“There’s nothing in the legislation that stops pounds releasing dogs to rescue groups – we believe there is a misinterpretation.

“I live in a residential home in a residential street and I’m being told that to foster a dog I must be a domestic animal business.

“There’s no way I could become registered as a domestic animal business – it’s just ludicrous.”

Monash City Council spokesman Paul Riordan said the council had not received the July bulletin, but the RSPCA acted as the council’s pound.

“If a cat or dog has not been reclaimed after eight days, the RSPCA can sell or destroy the animal – Monash doesn’t deal with foster carers or rescue groups.”

Mr Riordan said, as far as he was aware, unregistered animal rescuers had not approached Monash for unwanted animals.

DPI spokesman Alex Wilson said the department would brief the new Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Peter Walsh, in coming days.

Before the election a spokesman for the then-Labor caretaker government said the code of practice for managing cats and dogs in shelters and pounds was under review. He said the incoming government would be advised to legitimise the role of unregistered animal foster carers by revising the code.

Original story here

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