Conference tackles animal cruelty

Newcastle Herald; JANEK SPEIGHT; Dec. 30, 2012,

ANIMAL rescue groups from around the state will converge in the Hunter in 2013 to address what they believe are alarming rates of animal cruelty in the region.

The Rescuers and Advocates Companion Animal Conference will be held in February at Warners Bay and aims to educate people on how to participate in animal rescue, how to find foster families for pets and how to work with media, council and vets.

Dog Rescue Newcastle founder Sue Barker, who  will speak on the day, said there was a big concern about overpopulation and euthanasia rates of animals in the Hunter.

‘‘Our councils aren’t doing anything to reduce rates, especially concerning backyard breeders,’’ she said. ‘‘We’re constantly busy. Sometimes we’re getting six to eight animals in a day.

‘‘It’s unacceptable and this conference is about figuring out how we can make change.’’

Ms Barker said they wanted a wide range of people to participate in the conference.

‘‘The Hunter is a huge problem area and I’m appalled by the neglect and ignorance here,’’ she said.

‘‘We need to make the public aware of what’s going on.’’ .

Other speakers will include Olga Parkes of Hunter Animal Watch, Dr Cathy O’Neil of Macquarie Road Veterinary Hospital and Barb Steffensen, from Animal Rights and Rescue.

Organiser and lawyer for companion animals Anne Greenaway said the conference was open to anyone, and that speakers would aim to teach people about animal welfare.

The conference will be held on February 2 at the Salas Function Centre, 298 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay. The cost for the conference is $20 and those interested can email Ms Greenaway at for more information.

Original here



Filed under Abandoned animals, Animal Advocacy, Animal cruelty, Animal Rights, NSW

5 responses to “Conference tackles animal cruelty

  1. companionanimalnews

    Readers comment: “This is a great initiative, Anne, Goodonya! I sincerely hope this conference attracts many animal lovers from the region, not just those already converted.

    The media could also help animals by promoting this event more, attending the conference and presenting excerpts from some of the presentations, and interviewing people from local rescue groups who do such a tremendous job under difficult circumstances. The callous cruelty, cold indifference and total lack of responsibility shown by some people towards their animals, is often very stressful and demoralising to those who come to rescue, rehabilitate and comfort those animals. They do this with very limited resources, donating their time and money, just because there is no-one else who will do it.

    Please, local people, attend the conference if you can, support Dog Rescue Newcastle, Hunter Animal Watch and Animal Rights and Rescue by volunteering your help – there is much to be done. eg. foster carers are always in short supply.”Amy

  2. companionanimalnews

    readers comment “This is a very good idea and long overdue. There are a number of issues effecting the community, rescue groups, animal lovers, councils, governments, and other animal welfare organisations. And not everything is good. Whilst Australia destroys over 250 000 unwanted pets every year, most of whom are healthy, new ideas and strategies need to be developed and implemented in order to drastically reduce the numbers killed.

    The rescue groups in the Hunter Valley and Central Coast have developed such strategies where we have seen a huge reduction in the kill ratios at numerous council pounds who cooperate with the rescue groups. At Singleton they have a kill ratio of 17.5%, Gosford has one of 15.5%, Wyong has one of 12.5%, and Muswellbrook has one of 8.5%. This success reflects all the hard work and effort put in when the emphasis is place solely upon the saving of lives. Meanwhile the RSPCA has a kill rate of 50.6% whilst they have over $40 million invested in shares and long term investments and they made a further $9 million operating profit last year. Clearly there’s a fundamental difference in the strategies of the two groups: one is about saving lives whilst the other is about making money.

    This conference will be thus about demonstrating to the public the greater alternative which the rescue groups have on offer. Given the NSW Government’s Companion Animal Taskforce is supposedly about trying to significantly reduce the number of companion animals killed every year, then they should listen to what these successful groups have to say instead of ignoring them as is usually the case.”DMA

  3. companionanimalnews

    readers comment: “This is called progress by the people for the people. Well done Anne from Company Animals. The system of animal welfare has broken down and has never worked. Government bodies and council are the biggest contributors to the system failure. They are not proactive and do not keep up with the laws they implement so the system is always in systemic failure. Its the old claytons law scenerio “laws you have when you really have no laws”. The councils due to their lazy attitude and not willing to work with their rate payees take the easy way out and contract out their pounds which perpetuates the “breed – kill” cycle that has become a very profitable business for the large rescues and a total waste of rate payers money because it is not a solution it is part of the problem. The Government nor the Councils have ever done a cost benefit analysis on the impounding of dogs and cats to the community and choose to do the same as until something like these conferences bring the truth to the people and create constructive dialogue and collaboration between all those involved.” Christy

  4. Sonia Greenwood

    The comments above apply to all areas. Puppy farming must be outlawed and all councils throughout Australia should provide vouchers for desexing of pets for pensioners and low income people. What would be even better if pet shops were only to sell pet requisites not animals, that goes for birds too!

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