I have raised animal welfare continually over the last 24 years and Parliament has failed to respond.
Around 60,000 healthy cats and dogs are destroyed annually in NSW, while cruel puppy farms and backyard breeders churn out new pets for sale. Litters from undesexed pets end up in the streets, parks and pounds, and people moving into apartments, retirement villages and rental properties often have to give up their companion.
Yet the State Government blocked my proposal for an open and independent companion animal welfare inquiry.
Instead it set up a Taskforce which includes membership from industry bodies opposed to animal welfare reforms like mandatory desexing and regulation of sales.
While the Taskforce is better than nothing, I share community concern that industry influence will water down welfare recommendations. Public hearings are not planned and minutes have not been made public.
Australia has high rates of pet ownership and the family pet is a national characteristic. Unfortunately compared with other countries, our treatment of pets is appalling.
I thank Independent MP Greg Piper, Greens MP Jamie Parker and Labor for supporting the inquiry.