PET TASKFORCE (NSW) SET TO DELIVER DISCUSSION PAPER

 Wednesday 4 April, 2012; MEDIA RELEASE

Don Page MP Minister for Local Government Minister for the North Coast

Local Government Minister Don Page has told Parliament today that the NSW Government’s first ever Companion Animals Taskforce is close to releasing a Discussion Paper seeking community input on future pet policies in NSW, including ways to reduce the number of cats and dogs being euthanased in pounds.

 Mr Page, whose portfolio covers the Companion Animals Act, told Parliament that the Taskforce will issue the Discussion Paper to invite the public to examine its initial proposals to promote responsible pet ownership, improve pet breeding practices in the community, and ultimately lead to fewer unwanted pets.

“The NSW Government’s Companion Animals Taskforce represents the government’s commitment to focus on poor pet breeding practices such as `puppy farms’, to increase micro-chipping, de-sexing and lifetime registration of pets, and generally to crack down on poor pet industry practices to reduce the number of unwanted animals and to lower euthanasia rates in NSW council pounds,” Mr Page said.

“Recent figures show that in the last five years, 150,000 dogs and cats were euthanased in NSW pounds. Of the animals that arrive at pounds each year, about 33 per cent of dogs and nearly 70 per cent of cats are euthanased – about 15,000 dogs and 15,000 cats a year.

“These are shocking statistics and the Taskforce will seek to address them, in consultation with pet owners and other concerned members of the community.

“The Taskforce has brought together leading animal welfare experts, local government representatives, and is chaired by Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, who was a veterinary surgeon before entering politics.

“Mr Cornwell and the Taskforce member stakeholders are people who care deeply for pets, understand the pet industry, and are best placed to inform the government on pet breeding, pet care and other pet-related issues.

“The Taskforce will travel around NSW, led by Mr Cornwell, to hold community consultations that will discuss the issues the Taskforce is examining.

“Their Discussion Paper should invite healthy dialogue on matters pertaining to pet welfare moving forward.”

Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson, whose portfolio covers the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, said the formation of the Taskforce underlined the NSW Government’s commitment to improving animal welfare.

“Animal welfare is an issue the NSW Government takes very seriously. We are committed to continually improving animal welfare standards in NSW and look forward to the Taskforce’s Discussion Paper and its recommendations,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

Mr Cornwell said the Taskforce has been successful and its recommendations will be far- reaching because it consists of a cross-section of stakeholders which have the interests of pets at heart.

“The Taskforce consists of the RSPCA, with its 130 years’ of experience, the Animal Welfare League, with its more than 50 years’ experience, the Cat Protection Society and its 50 years’ experience, as well as the Australian Veterinary Association, pet breeders, and local government representatives including council rangers,” Mr Cornwell said.

“These are experts on pet breeding practices, on pet welfare issues, on responsible pet ownership. These are the people who can share heartbreaking stories about unwanted pets and abuse of animals.

“The Taskforce has examined all issues relating to euthanasia rates of pets and unacceptable breeding practices and it will hand over its findings to the government soon.”

Media: Steven Graham, Minister’s office, 9230 2796 and 0467 741188

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7 Comments

Filed under Animal Advocacy, NSW

7 responses to “PET TASKFORCE (NSW) SET TO DELIVER DISCUSSION PAPER

  1. companionanimalnews

    ““The Taskforce has brought together leading animal welfare experts, local government representatives, and is chaired by Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, who was a veterinary surgeon before entering politics.

    “Mr Cornwell and the Taskforce member stakeholders are people who care deeply for pets, understand the pet industry, and are best placed to inform the government on pet breeding, pet care and other pet-related issues.” ???

    “The taskforce comprises representatives of the following organisations: the Australian Companion Animal Council, the Australian Institute of Local Government Rangers, the RSPCA New South Wales, Animal Welfare League NSW, Pet Industry Association Australia, Dogs NSW, Australian Veterinary Association, Cat Protection Society, and the Local Government and Shires Associations New South Wales.”

    ?? PIAA? Dogs NSW?? AVA ??? Local Gov Assocn??

  2. The Lone Ranger

    I hope they also look at regulation and licensing of those person(s) and organisations claiming to be “Animal Wefare” or “Rescue” as a part of this strategy.

  3. PIAA, AVA and local government are the reason we have to have a task force. Unproductive in all they years they have been advising and involved in the animal industry. Unresponsive to the killing of over 250,000 animals a year, Uncaring that their years inactiveness has created an enormous burden on those thousands of small individual animal welfare groups that have sprung up to actually do the work and make a difference and to report to the public the horrors of “official rescue groups and pounds” that these groups have allowed to continue under their rein. This is far to little too late and I would not hold my breath for change. And to be honest they are the elephant in the room.

  4. selwyn marock

    WTG

  5. companionanimalnews

    Lone Ranger – you seem to have it in for Animal Welfare Groups and “Rescue”Groups. You and i have had constructive discussion, but I think it would be useful for our Readers for you to clearly explain your issues. Given that it’s the government of our States who kill around 250,000 healthy animals, and legislation that constantly fails the animals and the vast majority of rescue groups and volunteers who work tirelessly to save many thousands, with very little money or resources, I feel your focus is somewhat misplaced. I recognise that there may be a few rogues or people who start and end up not coping, but generally animal welfare and rescue groups are not the problem. But Im sure that others will be interested in your points of view as someone with law enforcement background…’How will licencing animal welfare and rescue help stop the killing of 250,000 healthy cats and dogs each year??

  6. “Given that it’s the government of our States who kill around 250,000 healthy animals, and legislation that constantly fails the animals and the vast majority of rescue groups and volunteers who work tirelessly to save many thousands, with very little money or resources…. How will licencing animal welfare and rescue help stop the killing of 250,000 healthy cats and dogs each year??”

    What you said.

  7. Jan Baker

    I hope on their travels they call into puppy farms where animals are being inhumanely treated in horrific conditions & do something to stop it…….. it is about time they opened their eyes to just what is going on in the pet industry……if there are so many pet lovers in this taskforce then we should see a big improvement…. the closing down of puppy farms & people not being allowed to own a dog or cat if they treat them cruelly…..we will just wait & see!! This taskforce is made up of Industries making money from animals!!!!!

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