Tanya Davies MP. Member for Mulgoa.

Companion Animal Awareness Day

Wednesday May 30, 2012

Member for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies MP has today joined Don Page, Minister for Local Government, Katrina Hodgkinson, Minister for Primary Industries, Tim Vasudeva, CEO of the Animal Welfare League and Andrew Cornwell, Chair of the Companion Animals Taskforce for a Companion Animals Awareness Day in the Parliamentary Garden in Sydney.

The Companion Animals awareness day was organized by Mr Page to discuss the release of the NSW Government’s Companion Animals Taskforce Discussion Paper. The Paper is seeking community input on future pet policies in NSW, including ways to reduce the number of cats and dogs being euthanized in pounds.

Mrs Davies said “The Discussion Paper is inviting 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.

“These include `puppy farms’, increasing micro-chipping, de-sexing and lifetime registration of pets, and generally to crack down on poor pet industry practices.

“We want to reduce the number of unwanted animals and lower euthanasia rates in NSW council pounds,” Mrs Davies said.

“Recent figures show that in the last five years 150,000 dogs and cats were euthanized 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 euthanized – about 15,000 dogs and 15,000 cats a year.

“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 and are well placed to inform the government on breeding, pet care and other pet-related issues.

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

Some of the key issues in the discussion paper include:

  • Regulation of breeders
  • Advertising and sale of cats and dogs
  • Microchipping, registration and desexing
  • The role of education
  • Impounding of cats and dogs

The discussion paper is available for download from the Division of Local Government website at: www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/CATaskforce. Submissions close on 1 July 2012.