Shooting sparks debate over humane animal euthenasia

Daily Liberal, Lisa Minner; Jan. 9, 

THE DEBATE continues regarding lethal injection versus gunshot as the more humane way to euthanise animals left at local pounds and shelters.

While some Western NSW councils euthanise with a single gunshot, most regional and metropolitan councils use lethal injection.

Dubbo City Council’s manager of environmental control Debbie Archer said the council’s preferred option was euthanasia by lethal injection.

The operation of Dubbo City Council’s Animal Shelter is contracted to the RSPCA,” she said.

“All animals euthanised at the Dubbo Animal Shelter are done so in accordance with RSPCA policies and by RSPCA trained staff.

“Injured animals may also be euthanised by a vet following veterinary assessment and advice.”

The RSPCA utilise the services of a contractor to collect the animals after being euthanized and they are transported and cremated at an approved facility, Ms Archer said.

Where Council has enforced that an animal is to be euthanised, like a dangerous dog, the owner is given an option to claim the body for their own burial.”

Walgett Shire Council director of planning and regulatory services Matthew Goodwin said, while council still administered a gun shot to euthanise animals, all of its procedures were now under review.

“Some people support our current practices and others are wanting change,” he said.

“We will consider the range of community views before making any decision.”

Original here and readers comments

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1 Comment

Filed under Abandoned animals, Animal cruelty, Council Pounds, Dumped animals, NSW

One response to “Shooting sparks debate over humane animal euthenasia

  1. companionanimalnews

    Readers comment: “Nowwhere in the legislation nor codes of practice applicable to pounds does it make even the remotest suggestion that killing dogs and cats by shooting them is a humane or acceptable practice.

    I hope readers will take the time to review the legislation and see for themselves…

    http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/

    6.8.3 Euthanasia MUST only be performed by a veterinarian, or, in the case of thosehealthy animals which have been kept for the required statutory period andcannot be re-homed, by a person authorised to carry out euthanasia.

    So what gave the council ranger the authority to determine that the
    little stray brown and white dog was so sick that he needed to be shot
    the same day he was taken by the ranger?

    If an animal is to be euthanased before the statutory period is up, this Code of Practrice says that it MUST be done by a vet. http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/

    The standard articulated in lethal injection.

    Read what it says about the standard for euthanasia in the NSW Animal
    Welfare Code of Practice No 5 – Dogs and Cats in Animal Boarding
    Establishments. NSW pounds are also required to comply with this Code,
    which is also cited in thePREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS REGULATION 2012 – SCHEDULE 1

    “6.5.1Euthanasia should be considered where an animal becomes seriously ill or injured during boarding and where it is recommended by a veterinarian who has examined the animal.

    6.5.2 Permission from the animal’s owner or nominee, preferably in writing, should be obtained.

    6.5.3 Euthanasia should only be performed by a veterinarian.” Shooting
    cats and dogs is NOT recommended, and there is no difference in the
    legislative requirements, whether or not a Pound is located “inland” or
    not, as Walgett Council seems to suggest.

    Further more – it is not up to the Council nor the even the local
    community to decide what standards are acceptable to them. The standards
    are set by law. Accordingly Walgett Council is not permitted to apply
    their own standards either for how they kill pound animals or how they
    deliver care to pound animals generally.

    In view of the legislative requirements, the public should be very angry that Walgett Council, and any other council for that matter, shoots pets at the pound or the rubbish tip and denies them humane euthanasia performed by a vet.

    Councils like this one will only change if the public demands it and/or the authorities make them accountable. Proof that they will not change of their own accord is their horrific record of killing pound animals, which is reported in their annual reports, displayed at their website. Year after year… after year…100% of cats are killed, and nearly all dogs. Combined with that there is no evident strategy that they are doing anything of any significance to find pound animals homes. This is a separate issue to their contribution to facilitate participation in the Community Animal Welfare Scheme, the latter, whilst a positive move, is insufficient on its own to meet Council’s obligations under the relevant legislation. Council’s track record of extreme rates of killing pound animals indicates that in practice they seem to have adopted a policy of extermination.

    Please keep up the pressure on Walgett Council and let them know that the Community WILL NOT tolerate this cruelty of shooting pound animals, nor will it accept their appalling killing statistics.”

    Michelle Alber, President- Sydney Pet Rescue & Adoption Every Life is precious to us.”

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