MEDIA RELEASE July 13 2012
GLOUCESTER COUNCIL SHARES COMMUNITY CONCERNS ABOUT CARE FOR COMPANION ANIMALS
Gloucester Shire Council is concerned with the obvious level of public distress caused by recent media reports about the recent incident of euthanizing animals at Council’s quarry. Council’s Mayor Geoff Slack said that “when informed of the particulars of last week’s incident, Council made a decision to immediately abandon the procedure of euthanizing by shooting in favour of euthanizing by lethal injection through the local vet”. This practice has already been put in place.
Council is also concerned with the level of misinformation about this particular incident. The Mayor said that “the dogs were not stray dogs randomly collected by Council and shot at the local tip in front of members of the public. Council is seldom required to euthanize any animals, over the 12 months to June this year only a total of four dogs were put down”.
The particular incident that has caused the widespread community concern was initiated with NSW Police by a person entitled to act on behalf of the dogs. The Police requested Council to assist them in this matter. There were more than 30 dogs from a single farm property that were living in distressing circumstances. Council was requested to assist in removing and putting down a number of the dogs.
Since the decision to move to euthanizing by lethal injection, discussions have been held with the local vet to ensure that this practice can be implemented under clear procedures. A policy, procedures and information for the general public are currently in preparation.
The Mayor said that “the dogs were euthanized in Council’s quarry adjacent to the tip. No members of the public were present. Dogs were put down individually one by one, and not in front of each other. The dogs were then disposed of at the tip face. The incident was referred to the RSPCA and an officer has met with Council staff to discuss the details of what occurred. Council has provided two reports to the inspecting officer and we are awaiting their response on the matter”.
“It is important to understand that Council and the Gloucester community do care about dogs” the Mayor said. “Council is mindful of its responsibilities under the Companion Animals Act. We are a small community and most dogs are cared for and well-managed. Council does not run a pound like many other councils but contract this service through a local contractor who runs kennels on a local farm property. Dogs that are picked up are kept for 7 or 14 days, depending on whether they have been micro chipped and ownership details are available, as required under the Companion Animals Act. During this period reconnection to their owners or the finding of new owners is actively pursued by our contractor. Since the above incident five pups which were impounded have successfully found new homes”.
A report on this matter has been prepared for Council and is available on Council’s website from Friday, 13 July 2012.
Council contact: Danny Green General Manager