The sheer number of animals killed unnecessarily each year, as abandoned and surrendered animals and unwanted litters end up in pounds and shelters, is shocking.
You can help reduce the cruel and wasteful death of so many animals by making a submission to a report just released by the NSW Government's Companion Animals Taskforce.
The pet industry has a loud and coordinated voice, so the community needs to speak strongly to encourage the government to take real action to prevent cruel breeding practices and unnecessary killing.
The Companion Animals Taskforce was established in 2011 by the Minister for Local Government and Minister for Primary Industries, after Parliament refused my motion to establish a committee to inquire into the welfare of companion animals.
My Bill would have stopped impulse buying of pets, removed demand for cruel puppy farming and backyard breeding and resulted in fewer cats and dogs being destroyed.
In May 2012, the Taskforce released a discussion paper covering a range of options to reduce the number of pets surrendered, abandoned and unnecessarily killed, as well ways to improve breeding standards and public awareness of responsible pet ownership. This discussion paper has led to the current report.
The report makes 22 recommendations with a range of initiatives to reduce the number of cats and dogs that are impounded and euthanised, improve the framework around the breeding and sale of pets, and promote responsible pet ownership.
Recommendations also include a breeder licensing system, enforceable standards for pet breeding, a community wide education campaign on responsible pet ownership, and registration options as an incentive to encourage desexing.
However, key community concerns not addressed include:
- Banning the sale of pets in pet shops (to stop impulse buying and the abandonment of pets, which contributes to the 60,000 killed each year)
- Allowing pets to travel on public transport (especially important for low income people who don't have access to a car)
- Overturning the prohibitive approach to pets in apartment, strata and rental properties
- Allowing pets in nursing homes and retirement villages (which is especially important for the emotional wellbeing of older residents).
These require urgent action. The City's submission to the Taskforce calls for these concerns to be addressed in the final report.
Make a submission or let the State Government know you want action on these critical issues: www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/eventregistration/eventstaskforce/TaskForceRegister.asp
What is the City of Sydney doing to help?
Pets play an important role in people's lives, particularly people who live alone and older people. They provide companionship, exercise and a chance to meet other pet owners.
Our council promotes responsible pet ownership and helps pet owners understand their obligations.
- We provide free obedience classes for dog owners and free pet micro-chipping for eligible residents.
- There are 43 off-leash spaces in our parks so people can exercise and socialise their pets, and meet their pet-owning neighbours.
- Throughout July, August and September, we are also providing discounted cat micro-chipping and desexing for eligible card holders.