08/27/15

Flea Prevention in a Foster Home

Anyone who has had fleas in their house before knows what a nightmare it is – for the humans and the dogs. The clean up following a flea infestation is very painful as well.

In coordinating a dog rescue for about seven years, I have got flea control down to an art. Here are my suggestions on ensuring that foster homes stay free of fleas.

When a dog enters care and has evidence of fleas (e.g. flea dirt around their groin), or for any dog that has come from a pound environment, flea treatment and prevent starts on pick up.

  • As I put the dog in the car, I treat with a spot-on flea treatment for dogs (like Frontline).
  • In the case of multi-dog transport, then all dogs in the car are treated with a spot-on treatment.

Once the dog has vacated my car, I then have to make my car flea-free. I use bug spray on pretty much everything. This includes bug-spraying:

  • Each side of the bedding the dog had in the crate.
  • The internal surfaces of the crate.
  • On all surfaces in the car, including in particular fabric surfaces.

Any bedding the dog used then goes either straight into the wash, or, if soiled, into a secured bag and into the bin.

Any other pets in the new foster household should be treated with a spot-on as well.

Following these steps should help flea infestations taking hold in a foster home. If, however, a dog ‘sneaks’ fleas into the house, then you will need to take remedial action. My process is:

  1. All animals in the household are dosed with a flea treatment.
  2. All bedding occupied by the flea-infested dog is treated with bug spray and washed.
  3. All areas of the house are vacuumed.
  4. All surrounding areas the dog came into contact with (like carpets, couches, etc) are doused in bug spray. I particularly concentrate the bug spray in nooks (e.g. under and behind furniture) and on the thresholds of rooms (e.g. in doorways).

It took me quite a few years to work out the exact method for getting a handle on flea infestations. I have learnt that prevention is easier (and cheaper!) than cure. Despite having some close encounters (such as foster dogs sneaking in their flea-visitors), I have never had a major problem in recent years. I put it down to these techniques.

Do you have any additional ideas on controlling fleas in a foster home?

 

Other posts of interest:

5 Ways to Keep Fleas Out of the House

Parasite Treatment Comparisons

Oral Flea Treatment Most Effective in Dogs

06/24/15

My Say: Mandatory Desexing

(This is the last post in a four part series on dog and cat reforms in South Australia. See post one here, post two here, and post three here.)

Screen shot of the YourSAy website.The YourSay website invites submissions to a citizen’s jury. While we could discuss the validity of allowing (quote) “32 ordinary South Australians” to decide on whether various animal species should undergo the medical procedure of a gonadectomy… Unfortunately, this process has already been decided on, and hence we must make a submission according to this format.

When accessing the site, you will need to download a word document to make a submission. It is only on this document do we get the date that submissions are due in by: Friday 10th July 2015

This form also asks the question:

Last year in South Australia over 10,000 unwanted dogs and cats were put down.
The State Government recently announced some reforms to dog and cat laws.
What further measures can we introduce or trial to reduce the number of unwanted pets?

While the downloaded word document doesn’t explicitly mention desexing, the site does with the comment:

The government has also sought a specific verdict from the Jury on the matter of whether de-sexing should be mandatory.

The form also specifies that the your submission should not be more than two pages, and yet asks for examples to be provided… It’s an impossibility to provide ample compelling evidence in these narrow frames.

However, my response (which you are, as always, welcome to use in shaping your own) is below:

I am adamantly opposed to mandatory desexing. The reasons for this opposition are:

 

Mandatory desexing has not been shown to reduce the incidence of euthanasia in animal shelters. In areas where it has been implemented, often there is a subsequent increase in the number of animals entering the facility, as people are financially unable to desex their pets and, to avoid risk of prosecution, they choose to relinquish them. Internationally this affect has been seen Los Angeles and, more locally, in Western Australia. Mandatory desexing has actually been demonstrated to increase euthanasia, and therefore should not be an option for South Australia on this basis alone.

 

However, mandatory desexing is a move that is rejected by the Australasian Veterinary Association (AVA). The AVA represents veterinarians across Australia, and so it would be sensible for policy makers to develop legislation that corresponds with statements made by this peak body. Additionally, it is anticipated that veterinarians would be responsible for performing desexings (mandatory or otherwise), and so their support is crucial for successful implementation of mandatory desexing. Considering that veterinarians have significant financial gains to be made from such a policy, yet choose to reject it is, is an indicator of the lack-of-support for mandatory desexing.

 

Finally, and crucially, there is evidence that desexing in dogs can pose some health risks to animals. These risks include:

  • Increased incidence of some cancers (including mast cell tumours, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and lymphosarcoma),
  • Higher incidence of joint disorders (including hip dysplasia and cranial crucial ligament tears), and
  • Increased incidence of behavioural problems (including reactivity, aggression, and anxiety, storm phobias).

Studies that indicate these problems have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals, illustrating that this is not ‘sensationalised’ content, but the results of real research on dog populations. Considering the available evidence, it seems immoral and contradictory to animal welfare goals to obligate pet owners to subject their animals to such risks.

 

As alternative means to reducing the number of unwanted pets, there are a number of approaches that could be trialled. The most obvious would be requiring improvements in reclaims. For many animals entering shelters, they have homes that want to get them home. Unfortunately, the large shelters in Australia are not proactive in listing impounded animals. This makes it difficult for owners to know where their pet is to bring them home. Further, if they do visit a facility to reclaim their pet, many times there are large fees that they are required to pay to get the impounded animal out. This is a barrier to individuals getting their pets home, while if they stay at the shelter they may be at risk of euthanasia. An additional barrier is poor opening times of this facility, meaning in many cases animals have to stay in the shelter longer due to their owner’s inability to access the facility. In summary, the procedure for individuals reclaiming animals needs to be improved by:

  • Impound facilities clearly listing all impounded animals online.
  • Legally enforceable guidelines regarding the scanning of microchips and the use of the information to find the owner.
  • Fees and charges for the release of impounded animals being reduced, waived, or available on a payment plan.
  • Impound facilities having opening times that make them highly accessible to the public.

 

Other changes that could be made at a shelter level to reduce euthanasia include:

  • Oreo’s Law – the requirement that animals are not euthanised if there is any individual or group who is willing to take them.
  • Mandated time for adoption – require facilities to offer all animals for adoption for a set period, perhaps 72 hours.

 

Finally, a big reason that animals end up in shelters is due to owner accommodation issues. This includes those who are renting, or fleeing their home due to violence.  If we deal with human issues, people will be more likely to retain their pets. Changes that encourage landlords to permit pets, and providing temporary accommodation that allow pets, are important to prevent animals being relinquished to shelters.

 

In summary, suggestions for reducing shelter euthanasia include:

  • Creating legislation that requires shelters to:
    • Do more to assist reclaims,
    • Allow adoptions for animals who have no choice but euthanasia, and
    • Allow all animals to be available for adoption for a minimum period of time.
  • And dealing with community issues surrounding owner accommodation issues.

 

Further reading:

“Just stop breeding until the pounds are empty”

Is desexing a cult?

Why would you NOT desex your dog???

Are you willing to be wrong about that?

 

 

 

05/25/15

My Say: Proposed Changes to the D&CMA

(This is post three in a series of four blog posts on proposed changes to dog laws in South Australia. Post One: Summary. Post Two: Breeder Code. Post Four: Mandatory Desexing.)

Submissions to the government’s proposed changes are due by the 26th June 2015.

In making a submission, you can do so by the YourSay website, or by:

Emailing: dogandcatreforms@sa.gov.au

Snail mailing:

Dog and Cat Reforms
Conservation and Land Management Branch
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
GPO Box 1046
Adelaide 5001

The YourSay website has three documents for download:

Overview of Proposed Changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act

Frequently Asked Questions

Dog and Cat Management Act Amendment Bill

DogsSA produced a document which shows the amendments against current legislation, which is far easier to read. I recommend that you download the act with amendments inserted.

 

First, let’s consider the responses to the online survey. The questions are listed below, along with my responses to those questions. You’re welcome to use these responses as a guide in formulating your own.

Survey Question One

It is proposed that all dogs and cats are microchipped so that they can be returned if lost. The specific proposals are:

1. All existing and new dogs and cats will need to be microchipped by a prescribed age. It is proposed that this age be three months.

2. Penalties will be imposed for owning a un-microchipped dog or cat and for not keeping your details with a microchip registry current.

3. Regulations will specify who can implant microchips in South Australia (a veterinarian or an appropriately trained person).

Some individuals object to microchipping. The legislation should say ‘microchipped or tattooed’ or ‘un-microchipped or un-tattooed’, etc, to allow individuals to choose how they wish for their animals to permanently identified.

The penalties proposed for owning an un-microchipped animal ($2500!) is excessively burdensome, especially when this legislation is being applied retrospectively. Individuals should be allowed to continue to own animals un-microchipped if they are of an age that predates the legislation. As it currently stands, pet owners would need to get their animals microchiped when this legislation comes in, and that could cost individuals out of legally owning their animals. Potentially, this legislation would criminalise the behaviour of normal pet owners.

 

Survey Question Two

It is proposed that anyone who breeds dogs and cats for sale will need to register with the Dog and Cat Management Board or through an approved organisation to assist in managing dogs and cats and help consumers to be confident their pet has come from healthy and humane conditions. There may be a fee to register as a breeder. The specific proposals are:

1. Anyone who breeds a dog or cat for sale will be defined as a ‘breeder’

2. A breeder will need to include their breeder registration number in any advertisements that are placed for the sale of a dog or cat, including online sales.

3. Penalties will be imposed for failing to register as a breeder.

It is an overstatement to claim that a breeder registration scheme will ‘help consumers to be confident their pet has come from healthy and humane conditions’.

While I do not object to these suggestions on the surface, I am concerned that a fee for breeder registration may unfairly disadvantaged small-scale breeders who do not make a profit from breeding animals. Further, I am pessimistic that breeder registration will be appropriately policed considering the failure of councils to effectively enforce dog registration.

 

Survey Question Three

It is proposed to increase fines and penalties for dog attack offenses, nuisance barking and wandering dogs as well as all other existing offences.

The fee increases for dogs wandering at large are inordinate, with the maximum penalty being up to $2500. This is a hugely excessive fee to impose upon individuals who may have had their dog escape in unfortunate circumstances (storm damage to fencing, contractors leaving a gate open, or thieves allowing the dog to escape during a burglary). Further, these increase in fees are problematic when taking into consideration section 62 which requires people retrieving their dog after seizure to pay before getting the dog back. Many individuals may be priced-out of getting their animal returned to them, and hence the dog is left in a facility where they may be at risk of euthanasia. Section 62 urgently needs to be rectified so animals are not euthanised when there are owners who want to claim them, but do not have the finances to do so. An increase in fines and penalties further adds to the risk of animals being euthanised in this circumstance.

 

Survey Question Four

It is proposed to simplify the dog registration process by introducing the new category of ‘Standard dog’. This is a dog that has been both microchipped and desexed. Dog registration fees for a ‘Standard dog’ will be much less than for other dogs. The specific proposals are:

1. The registration category of ‘Standard Dog’ is introduced (a dog that is microchipped and desexed)

2. The registration rebate for a dog that has been trained will be removed.

No, I do not support the proposal that rebates for trained dogs will be removed. Statistically, we know animals who have undertaken training are less likely to end up in animal shelters. Therefore, a financial incentive to train a dog (in order to receive registration discounts) should be encouraged.

 

Survey Question Five

It is proposed to replace the terms ‘Disability Dog’, ‘Guide Dog’, and ‘Hearing Dog’ and replace them with the term ‘Assistance Dog’. This change makes the South Australian terminology consistent with the rest of Australia. The specific proposals are:

1. Remove the term ‘Disability Dog’ and similar terms in favour of the nationally consistent term ‘Assistance Dog’.

2. Provide Assistance Dogs in training with ‘public access rights’ when accompanied by an accredited trainer

3. Broaden the range of bodies that can accredit Assistance Dogs.

I support or ambivalent about these changes.

 

Survey Question Six

11. Do you have further comments on the amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act?

While I support the general idea that all animals should be microchipped, I am alarmed that the changes to the Act do not necessitate an authorised person and a facility to scan for a microchip on all animals impounded, and animals that are received deceased (e.g. road kill animals). This section urgently needs attention to ensure that microchips are being scanned by facilities. Section 61 needs to be amended to list the procedures for an seized animals. This should include, at least, that the animal is scanned for a microchip:

  • On two separate occasions,
  • By two different staff members, and
  • Using two different scanning devices.

Further, section 61 then needs to legislate that facilities and authorised persons respond to a microchip number when it is identified. At a minimal level, the animal’s microchip number should be checked on government databases (NSW and Victorian registries) and private databases (such as CAR, AAR, Pet Register, etc). If the microchip has data associated with it, the facility or authorised person must use all forms of contact on the chip in order to contact the owner and allow them the opportunity to reclaim their pet. In the case of postal mail, the owner should be given two weeks to respond before the dog is officially owned by the facility. (That is, the period of 72 hours is extended.) Without necessitating facilities to search for and use data associated with microchips, then microchipping is useless. This section of the Act urgently needs to be reviewed.

Greyhounds like Hannah will still have to wear a muzzle in public spaces, unless their owners pay a fee to have them 'green collar assessed'. The lesser talked about breed specific legislation in the country!

Greyhounds like Hannah will still have to wear a muzzle in public spaces, unless their owners pay a fee to have them ‘green collar assessed’. The lesser talked about breed specific legislation in the country! (PS: Read more about adopting Hannah.)

I am incredibly troubled by the proposed inclusion of the section titled 61A (which allows a holding facility to desex and microchip an animal in their care). It is unclear why this section of the legislation has been included. It does not specify a time limit from seizure to surgery – hence, a person with a dog roaming at large for several hours could have their dog seized and desexed before being returned. This is a huge violation of the rights of the owner to keep their dog entire if they see fit. This section must be amended to at least specify that desexing can only occur 72 hours after impoundment.

The proposed changes to section 64C (regarding greyhound laws) create a double-negative, and this makes the legislation unclear. The proposed change is redundant, as it does not change the meaning of the law.

Section 74 has not been amended. This allows cats to be ‘destroyed’ if found over 1km from a residence. It is heinous that we legalise the killing of cats when they are known to wander for distances greater than 1km, hence allowing peoples pets to lawfully be destroyed by others. This section should simply be removed.

It seems remarkably unfair, unjust, and morbid that Section 64 allows facilities to charge people for destroying their seized animal, yet Section 54(1b)(b) states that the owners cannot seek compensation for the destruction of their pet.  Further, Section 62 also adds to owner distress in that they must pay to reclaim their pet. Facilities and authorised persons should bill individuals but not restrict their access to their pet. This means that animals leave pound environments sooner, which is beneficial to their physical and psychological health, plus it reducing issues of space-based euthanasia for the facility.

I have mild concerns that the regulations mentioned in 71(1)(c) may be excessively burdensome to small-scale breeders, but this is yet to be seen.

 

The YourSay website also invites individuals to write a letter to this department. While I have done this as well, my letter basically duplicates the details written above in survey question six.

 

05/9/15

My Say: Proposed Breeder Code of Practice SA

(This is post two in a series of four blog posts on proposed changes to dog laws in South Australia. Post One: Summary. Post Three: D&CMA. Post Four: Mandatory Desexing.)

Submissions on the Government’s proposed changes are due by the 29th of May 2015.

In making a submission, you can follow the online form through the YourSay website, or by:

Emailing: dogandcatreforms@sa.gov.au

Snail mailing:

Dog and Cat Reforms
Conservation and Land Management Branch
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
GPO Box 1046
Adelaide 5001

The YourSay website provides a copy of the proposed Breeder Code of Practice and also a FAQ document. I have uploaded both of these documents to this blog, for historical purposes.

First, let’s consider the online survey. This online survey asks for your feedback on a number of questions, and then a field for further comments. Below, I have listed each question and the response I provided. You are welcome to use my responses in their entirety or in part. You may find it useful to consider these questions in advance and save your responses to a Word document or similar, to avoid the risk of losing them in case of website error.

 

 Survey Question One

· Are the definitions used in the draft Breeding Code clear?

· Do you agree with having standards that set the minimum requirements and are legally enforceable?

· Do you agree with having guidelines that are above the minimum requirements (standards) and are not legally enforceable?

6. Do you support the proposed interpretation and definitions?

While the definitions of the Breeding Code are clear, I do not agree with the notion of a Breeding Code of Practice in the first instance. If the standards outlined in this document are genuinely in the best interest of animal welfare, then they should be applicable to all animals, not just those used for breeding.

Further, I do not agree with having guidelines that are not legally enforceable, as they are superfluous to the goals of the document. That is, it is illogical to introduce guidelines that are known to be not legally enforceable and an optional extra.

Additionally, even if the proposed Breeding Code was to ‘go ahead’, there are many proposed standards that are inappropriate. For example:

*In general, the standards require excessive record keeping.  For example, it is incredibly burdensome to expect a small hobby breeder to have all the details listed, written and stored for 5 years, for every dog ever in their care. Additionally, the requirement for breeders to have an isolation area is inappropriate and burdensome to small hobby breeders.

*Standard 5.1.1.3 is vague and subjective, requiring animal housing to be designed in a way that facilitates ‘good health’ and ‘minimises risk of disease transmission’.

*Minimum sizes for dog housing prevent the use of crates as crates are below the minimal standards specified. Crates should not be banned as they help train appropriate toiletting, help animals learn to cope with transport (e.g. they learn to be crated prior to transport), and are often spaces that dogs enjoy and seek out.

*Standard 6.1.1.4 requires animals to be isolated from others in a number of circumstances that have no scientific basis. For example, bitches in season have to be isolated from other animals. There is no need for this to occur. Additionally, many bitches will co-parent litters (e.g. two bitches lactating for one litter), and this standard removes the ability for breeders to be allow bitches to co-parent in this way.

*Standard 6.3.1.6 requires bedding to be disinfected weekly. This is well beyond the normal practices of pet owners, and may actually cause resistant-bacteria to formulate in the animal’s environment.

*Standards that vary for droving or animals used for stock control weaken this legislation. If this is ‘best practice’, then it is best practice for all dogs, not just those used in pet settings.

*Standard 7.3.1.1 requires (uses the word “must”) animals to be euthanised if a vet suggests it, and includes behavioural reasons as a suitable reason for euthanasia.

*Standard 8.1.1.1 requires animals are not sold before 7 weeks, yet many breeders have waiting lists where puppies are sold before they are even conceived, born, and most times before 7 weeks. This acts as insurance for both breeder and puppy buyer.

*Standard 8.1.1.4 requires animals that have health issues are not sold – effectively requiring breeders to keep the animal, kill the animal, or give it away. Instead the section should, at the very least, be changed to “No animal suspected of suffering a significant illness, injury or disease (including congenital disease) must be sold without full disclosure of this condition to the purchaser.”.

*Standard 9.1.1.1 requires bitches are not bred on their first season. There is no scientific basis behind this claim. Bitches are normally fitter and more able to naturally whelp at a young age than an older age. It assumes that all bitches will have their first cycle before 12 months, which is not the case.

*Standard 9.1.1.6/7 requires bedding is changed daily for newborn animals, which could be unnecessarily stressful for a mother and litter.

*Standard 9.1.1.12 requires bitches be able to escape their young. This has obviously been written by an individual who has not whelped an animal that does not want to mother their offspring. If this was a requirement, puppies would die due to maternal neglect. Breeders should be able to manage dams and pups as they best see fit.

*Standard 9.1.1.13 means that puppies can’t begin socialisation/habituation outside the house before 7 weeks unless their mothers accompanies them. This is counter-intuitive to the psychological development of pups.

 

Survey Question Two

The draft Breeding Code proposes legally enforceable standards relating to the responsibilities and competency of staff. These include:

· the person in charge is responsible for compliance with the standards

· the person in charge attends the establishment with sufficient frequency to meet the requirements of the code

· the person in charge must be knowledgeable and competent to provide for the care of animals

· trainees and volunteers are supervised by experienced staff and adequately trained

· facilities are sufficiently staffed to meet the standards

7. Do you support the proposed standards for the responsibilities and competency of staff?

Requirements on what is ‘adequate training’ are vague. However, if there was required learning (e.g. a particular certificate) this would be unnecessarily financially burdensome for small hobby breeders and rescue facilities. The workings of this whole section need to be reconsidered.

 

Survey Question Three

The draft Breeding Code proposes legally enforceable standards for quality management systems. These include:

· a requirement to record information about each animal housed at the facility

· records must be retained for five years after the death or disposal of an animal

· staff must be able to access and present records for inspection

· documented program for the control of insects, external parasites and vertebrate pests at the facility

· documented procedure for swift removal of animals in the case of an emergency

8. Do you support the proposed standards for quality management systems?

These requirements are excessive for a small hobby breeder. To require a breeder to have this information recorded on paper will create a lot of work for breeders for little or no gain in terms of animal welfare. A visual is all that’s required to determine whether an animal is healthy or not, and paperwork is only useful to show a process for animals that are unhealthy.

 

Survey Question Four

The draft Breeding Code proposes legally enforceable standards for animal housing that include:

· requirements for shade, light, ventilation and security

· standards for animals that need to be kept in isolation

· minimum sizes for dog housing and cat housing

9. Do you support the proposed standards for animal housing?

The current proposed requirements practically ban the use of crates. Breeders need to be able to use crates to transport dogs and for assisting in toilet training. Crates are also used for animals after undergoing surgeries. The best way to allow an animal to become habituated to a crate is to use them in ‘everyday life’. Crates need to be legal.

 

Survey Question Five

The draft Breeding Code proposes legally enforceable standards for animal management that include:

· a daily 30 minutes minimum exercise requirement

· a requirement for environmental enrichment

· a requirement to provide a balanced and complete diet

· cleaning and disinfection standards

· transport standards

10. Do you support the disability dog regulation proposal?

I’m not sure that this question marries with the dot pointed list above. However, I mostly support the proposed standards around exercise and environmental enrichment. The proposed standards seems to use disinfectant excessively and some uses of disinfectant should perhaps be switched to guidelines instead of standards, or removed all together.

 

Survey Question Six

The draft Breeding Code proposes legally enforceable standards for animal health that include:

· require daily inspection of animals

· appropriate veterinary treatment must be provided for sick or injured animals

· euthanasia standard

11. Do you support the proposed standards for animal health?

Euthanasia should not be an option for dogs that are ‘impractical’ to train. Instead, owners should attempt to rehome the animal. Attempts to rehome animals should be part of the standards, not guidelines. Remove the use of the word ‘must’ in regard to veterinarian recommendations of euthanasia. Currently, the standards are written in a way that makes euthanasia permissive.

 

Survey Question Seven

The draft Breeding Code proposes legally enforceable standards for the transfer of ownership that include:

· puppies and kittens must not to be sold before they are seven weeks of age

· animals must be vaccinated prior to sale

· free information on the care of animals must be provided at the time of purchase

12. Do you support the proposed standards for transfer of ownership?

Support vaccinations of animals before sale and provision of free information. The information suggested in the guidelines is excessive and, if provided, is likely to not be read by the purchaser. Puppies and kittens should be able to be sold prior to 7 weeks, but shouldn’t leave to their new homes until 8 weeks. This would give consumers confidence (e.g. they are definitely getting an animal), and buyers reassurance (e.g. there is a home for their puppy/kitten at 8 weeks).

 

Survey Questions Eight

The draft Breeding Code proposes legally enforceable standards for the breeding and rearing that include:

· males and females must be physically and mentally fit, healthy and free of disease at the time of mating

· no intentional mating during the first oestrous cycle

· bitches must not have more than two litters in any 18 month period, unless approved in writing by a veterinarian

· queens must not have more than three litters in any two year period, unless approved in writing by a veterinarian

· a requirement to provide additional food and water in certain circumstances

13. Do you support the proposed standards for breeding and rearing?

Support all but ‘no intentional mating during the first oestrous cycle’. There is no scientific reason that bitches cannot be mated during the first season.

 

The second manner in which to respond to this draft code is by email submission. My own is written below, however, if you prefer, you can also download the PDF version.

To whom it may concern,

Re: Dog and Cat Reforms

I am writing in response to the Draft Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs and Cats in Breeding Facilities. Including in this response is a table, responding to each individual standard outlined in the proposed Code, the changes that are necessary, and the rationale for suggesting such a change.

It concerns me that this Code at times replicates legislation already seen in The Animal Welfare Act and The Dog and Cat Management Act (or its proposed changes). This complicates animal management in the state, for both those responsible for animals and those authorised persons responsible for upholding the legislation. Many of my recommendations are based on removing this duplication of legislation.

My other suggestions for changes are chiefly based upon removing undue burden for small hobby breeders, standards with no scientific basis, and the ease this document allows animals to be euthanised.

While I have responded to the Draft Code of Practice, it is important to note that the proposal of a breeder registration scheme problematic in itself. There is no evidence that breeder registration results in greater consumer confidence or satisfaction. There are risks that such legislation would cause a decline in ethical breeders (as they may be priced out of the scheme) while unethical breeders who produce many puppies for profit will be most suited to respond to the standards. Further, considering the authorised persons already inadequately enforce The Animal Welfare Act and The Dog and Cat Management Act, I have little faith that any new legislation will be adequately enforced.

Considering this, it would be best for no breeder registration scheme to be implemented. However, failing that, the standards at least need to be heavily reviewed in order to address the issues of duplication, impact on small breeders, lack of scientific rationale, and simplistic euthanasia procedures. Because of the number of problematic standards in this draft code, a second review process needs to be undertaken at the very least.

Regards,

Tegan Whalan

 

Current Proposed Standard Proposed Change Rationale
3.1.1 The person in charge of the facility is responsible for compliance with all Standards within this Code. - -
3.1.2 The person in charge of the facility must be aware of their responsibilities towards the animals in their care. Each day, a person must be in attendance with sufficient frequency to meet the requirements of this Code, and must be knowledgeable and competent to: • provide for the animals’ care and welfare • provide for the feeding and watering of the animals • take reasonable steps to protect animals from distress or injury caused by other animals or interference by people • clean and ensure proper hygiene in the facility • identify signs of common diseases of the animals kept. - -
3.1.3 Where trainees and volunteers are engaged by the facility they must work under the supervision of trained and experienced staff. - -
3.1.4 Facilities must engage sufficient staff to meet these Standards and ensure the welfare of the animals being kept. Remove section. Unnecessary. 3.1.1 states that the person in charge of the facility is responsible for complying with the code. Obviously, this involves employing staff to meet the requirements of the code.
4.1.1 The following information must be recorded for each animal that is housed at the facility: • a description which includes: » name » microchip number (if microchipped) » sex (including whether desexed) » breed » colour » the pedigree registration number (for purebred animals) of owned and leased animals » distinguishing features » any special medical and dietary requirements • the history of the animal which includes: » date of birth » the date of acquisition/arrival » vaccination status » details of preventative and veterinary treatment, for example routine husbandry procedures such as worming or parasite control » details of medical history » any genetic or other health testing undertaken • method of disposal of the animal which includes: » the date and details of the sale or give away » if animals are euthanised the date, reason and method for euthanasia » if the animal died, the date of death, whether or not a necropsy was performed and the cause of death (if known) • if the animal is leased: » the name, address and telephone number of the owner or lessee » the name and contact telephone number of the veterinary practitioner who normally attends the animal. Remove section. Record keeping outlined here is extensive and burdensome for a hobby breeder.
4.1.2 Information which details each litter bred must be recorded and must include: • the name and microchip number of both the dam and the sire (if microchipped) • the date of mating(s) • the date of whelping or queening • identification details for each animal within the litter including any abnormalities or deaths. - -
4.1.3 Records must be retained for no less than five years after the death or disposal of the animal and all staff must be able to produce the records at the request of an inspector under the Animal Welfare Act 1985. Remove section. Record keeping outlined here is extensive and burdensome for a hobby breeder.
4.1.4 The facility must have a documented program in place to control insects, external parasites (including fleas, lice, ticks) and vertebrate pests (for example rats or mice). This program must be kept at the facility and all staff must be able to produce or access it and must be familiar with its content. 4.1.4 The facility must have a documented program in place to control insects, external parasites (including fleas, lice, ticks) and vertebrate pests (for example rats or mice), if evidence of such parasites or pests are sighted. This program must be kept at the facility and all staff must be able to produce or access it and must be familiar with its content. Unnecessary for facilities to have a documented program of parasite and pest control if the facility has never witnessed the parasites or pests.
4.1.5 Each facility must have a documented procedure for the swift removal of animals from the facility, in the case of emergency. This procedure must be kept at the facility and all staff must be able to produce or access it and must be familiar with its content. Remove section. Record keeping outlined here is extensive and burdensome for a hobby breeder.
5.1.1.1 Vehicles, caravans, portable crates and the crawl space under any dwelling must not be used as permanent housing. Unsure. Currently unclear what ‘permanent housing’ definition is.
5.1.1.2 Breeding facilities must have a clean and adequate water supply, sufficient to meet the daily requirements of the animals. Remove section. An individual is already in violation of the Animal Welfare Act if they fail to provide an animal with water.
5.1.1.3 Breeding facilities must be designed, constructed, serviced and maintained in a way that: • provides for the good health and wellbeing of the animals • minimises the risk of the transmission of infectious disease agents • minimises the risk of escape of animals • Minimises the risk of injury to animals and humans Unsure. Section is vague, subjective, and unenforceable.
5.1.1.4 Animals must be provided with protection from rain and wind, direct sunlight or other adverse weather conditions and must be provided with clean, dry, dedicated sleeping areas. - -
5.1.1.5 If a facility houses both dogs and cats, cat housing must be sufficiently distant or otherwise isolated from dog housing to minimise the stress to cats created by the sound, sight or smell of dogs. - -
5.1.1.6 Housing must meet the minimum sizes shown in Tables 1 and 2 below. These limits do not apply to animals being temporarily housed while undergoing treatment or being transported for a disease or injury. 5.1.1.6 Housing must meet the minimum sizes shown in Tables 1 and 2 below. These limits do not apply to animals being temporarily housed. (Section: “while undergoing treatment or being transported for a disease or injury” removed.) As the code is currently written, crates have been banned. Crates are important for confining dogs for a number of purposes, and are often spaces that dogs deliberately seek out for rest. As dogs are often crated during medical treatment or transport, a familiarity with crates is important to minimize stress at these times. Crates need to be permitted and the only way to do this is to make changes to the housing sizes shown.
5.1.1.7 Animals: • must be provided with sleeping areas that have clean, hygienic, dry bedding, appropriate to the species and breed, sufficient for the number of animals held, and sufficient to insulate them from the floor • must not be in extended contact with wet floors • must not be kept exclusively on wire flooring. - -
5.1.1.8 Cats must be provided: • with a suitable box each in which to hide or sleep • a litter tray that is at least 1.2 times the length of the cat and that contains a sufficient depth of material such as commercial cat litter, sawdust, shavings, sand or shredded paper. - -
5.1.1.9 An area must either be available at the facility or at a veterinary hospital where animals can be kept in isolation. There must be documented and demonstrable biosecurity measures in place prior to use. Remove section. Excessive demands of small hobby breeders to have an isolation area, and it is excessive to require vets to provide written documentation of their availability of their facilities for isolation.
5.1.1.10 Animals known or suspected to be suffering from a significant infectious disease or severe injury must be taken directly to where they can be kept in isolation unless it is in the animal’s welfare to be housed with other animals and does not put the other animals at risk. - -
5.1.1.11 A cat isolation facility must be a sufficient distance or otherwise isolated from dog housing to minimise the stress created by the sound, sight or smell of dogs. - -
5.2.1.1 Housing must have a shaded area to escape direct exposure from the sun. Remove section. Already covered in 5.1.1.4.
5.2.1.2 Animals must be protected from extremes of temperature. Remove section. Already covered in 5.1.1.4.
5.2.1.3 The duration and intensity of artificial lighting, if used, must be as close as possible to natural conditions, sufficient to allow thorough inspection and observation of animals and must mimic the prevailing natural light cycles. Animals must be protected from excessive light that is generated from an external source. - -
5.2.1.4 Housing areas must sufficiently ventilated to maintain the health of the animals, while minimising undue draughts, odours and moisture condensation. Unsure. Section is vague, subjective, and unenforceable.
5.2.1.5 Air ventilation devices, if used, must have an air change rate sufficient to distribute fresh air evenly to all of the animal holding areas ; and must have a back-up system in case the system becomes inoperable. - -
5.3.1.1 The facility must be able to be reasonably secured to prevent access by unauthorised people. - -
5.3.1.2 Housing must be fitted with a secure closing device that cannot be opened by the animals held. Remove section. Covered by section 5.3.1.4.
5.3.1.3 Animals must not be able to escape except in circumstances that cannot reasonably be foreseen and guarded against. - -
5.3.1.4 Unauthorised people must not have access to animal holding areas unless under the supervision of a staff member. - -
5.3.1.5 All potential poisons and harmful substances, whether in storage or in use, must be kept out of reach of animals. - -
6.1.1.1 Each animal must be individually identified. Remove section. Covered by proposed changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act that requires all animals to be microchipped.
6.1.1.2 Appropriate measures must be implemented to minimise the risk of distress or injury caused by other animals. This includes supervising animals sharing an exercise area unless they are known to be compatible. - -
6.1.1.3 Animals must be protected from distress or injury caused by interference by people. - -
6.1.1.4 Animals that must be kept in isolation must be kept in a quiet, warm and dry area. In most instances, the following categories of animals must be isolated : • animals with dependent young • animals about to give birth • animals in season, where it is not the intention to breed • sick or injured animals. Remove section. Animals due to give birth should not be kept in isolation, but supervised by someone experienced in whelping/queening. Animals with dependent young may choose to co-parent litters, but requiring them to be in isolation prevents the benefits of co-parenting by effectively making the practice illegal. Dogs are social animals and should not be isolated from others of their species for 2-3 weeks because they are in season. There is no logical reason for these isolation requirements.
6.1.1.5 Animals that may be distressed by the presence of other dogs or cats, or another species (eg. sheep or cattle) must be housed in a manner that prevents visual contact and minimises or reduces their ability to smell the other animals. - -
6.1.1. Long haired animals must be groomed by brushing or clipping at a frequency which ensures that their health and comfort is maintained. - -
6.1.1.7 Adult animals must have the opportunity to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, unless being treated for significant illness or injury. For dogs, this can be provided through training or work activities, or allowing the animal access to an exercise area to run freely, or by walking them on a lead. Unsure. It is unclear on how an exercise area differs from an area that the animal permanently resides.
6.1.1.8 Dogs must not be exercised in any way which may pose the risk of serious injury, for example attached to a motor vehicle, or unsupervised on a treadmill. - -
6.1.1.9 Animals must receive environmental enrichment, recognising the physiological status and special needs of differing ages and species, to ensure good psychological health. Remove section. Section is vague, subjective, and unenforceable.
6.1.1.10 Animals that are unable to feed themselves must only be kept if there are adequate facilities and expertise is available for artificial rearing. Remove section. Owners are already required to provide animals with “appropriate and adequate” food as per the Animal Welfare Act. Unnecessary to include it in this code.
6.2.1.1 Adequate cool, clean, palatable water to meet the physiological needs of the animal must be available at all times. Remove section. An individual is already in violation of the Animal Welfare Act if they fail to provide an animal with water.
6.2.1.2 Animals must receive a balanced and complete diet which allows them to maintain good health and growth. Food must be palatable and in a form appropriate to the age and medical condition of the animal. Remove section. Owners are already required to provide animals with “appropriate and adequate” food as per the Animal Welfare Act. Unnecessary to include it in this code.
6.2.1.3 Puppies and kittens under four months of age must be offered a sufficient quantity of a balanced and complete diet at least twice daily, unless receiving adequate maternal nutrition. Remove section. Owners are already required to provide animals with “appropriate and adequate” food as per the Animal Welfare Act. Unnecessary to include it in this code.
6.2.1.4 Animals that are co-housed with other animals must be monitored during feeding to ensure they all eat their own share. Remove section. Owners are already required to provide animals with “appropriate and adequate” food as per the Animal Welfare Act. Unnecessary to include it in this code.
6.2.1.5 Spoiled or stale food must be removed and disposed of promptly. - -
6.2.1.6 Food and water containers must be removed, cleaned and replaced immediately if noticed to be contaminated by urine, faeces, vomitus and the like. Remove section. Unenforceable, as an individually can simply claim that the reciprocal ‘wasn’t noticed’ to be contaiminated.
6.2.1.7 Food must be stored to prevent its deterioration or contamination - -
6.3.1.1 Areas housing animals within a facility must be cleaned at least once daily. Unsure. Section is vague. What does ‘clean’ extend to? Poop scooping, hosing, disinfectant, or others? How does this apply to home hobby-breeders who have dogs that run on porous surfaces?
6.3.1.2 Exercise areas must be maintained in a clean and healthy state and cleaned before new dogs are introduced to the area. Unsure. Section is vague. What does ‘clean’ extend to? Poop scooping, hosing, disinfectant, or others? How does this apply to home hobby-breeders who have dogs that run on porous surfaces?
6.3.1.3 Housing must be disinfected regularly. Remove section. Disinfecting regularly is likely to cause the development of resilient bacteria, and have no true purpose in maintaining cleanliness of a facility.
6.3.1.4 Housing, including exercise yards and bedding, which has housed an animal afflicted by an infectious disease must be disinfected and decontaminated with an appropriate product before a new animal is introduced (or the bedding discarded and replaced entirely). - -
6.3.1.5 Housing must be cleaned and disinfected before new animals are introduced or before whelping or kittening. Remove section. Disinfecting regularly is likely to cause the development of resilient bacteria, and have no true purpose in maintaining cleanliness of a facility.
6.3.1.6 Bedding must be cleaned or changed at least once daily if soiled, and disinfected at least weekly. 6.3.1.6 Bedding must be cleaned or changed at least once daily if soiled. (Removed section”, and disinfected at least weekly”.) Disinfecting regularly is likely to cause the development of resilient bacteria, and have no true purpose in maintaining cleanliness of a facility.
6.3.1.7 Food preparation and storage areas, food and water containers and utensils and equipment used in the preparation and provision of food must be maintained in a hygienic state. - -
6.3.1.8 Collection drains must be cleaned daily. Unsure. If no collection drains are present at the facility, how may the owner of the facility meet this element of the code?
6.3.1.9 Litter trays must be checked, scooped and replenished daily - -
6.3.1.10 Litter trays must be changed, washed and disinfected before being allocated to a new cat. - -
6.3.1.11 Litter trays that are saturated with urine must be changed immediately. - -
6.4.1.1 All animals must be transported in a manner appropriate for their species, size and age. Incompatible animals must be physically separated during transport to prevent injury, harm or distress. - -
6.4.1.2 Animals must not be transported in the boot of a car. - -
6.4.1.3 Vehicles must have adequate ventilation and shade, sufficient to maintain good health and to avoid distress. - -
6.4.1.4 All vehicles used extensively for the purpose of transporting animals must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after use to minimise the possibility of transmission of infectious disease agents between consignments of animals. This does not apply to a vehicle used to transport a dog that is being used in the droving or tending of stock or is going to, or returning from, a place where it will be, or has been, so used. Remove section. Disinfecting regularly is likely to cause the development of resilient bacteria, and have no true purpose in maintaining cleanliness of a facility. Further, many vehicles are difficult to adequately clean/disinfect due to the upholstery. Additionally, dogs used for stock use should not be exempt from this section of the code.
6.4.1.5 The minimum exercise requirement of this Code (6.1.1.7) applies to transported dogs and cats. - -
7.1.1.1 All dogs and cats must be inspected at least once daily to monitor their health and wellbeing. The person who is inspecting must note all adverse observations, for example if an animal is: • not eating • not drinking (in the case of kittens/puppies drinking milk) • not defecating • not urinating • behaving abnormally • unable to move about freely • displaying an abnormal coat • showing any obvious signs of pain, injury, illness or distress • suffering any unexpected or rapid weight loss. - -
7.1.1.2 Any changes in health status must be promptly reported to the person in charge of the facility for appropriate action. 7.1.1.2 Any changes in health status must be promptly reported to the person in charge of the facility and action taken. Changed from passive (‘appropriate action’) to assertive (‘and action taken’).
7.1.1.3 If there is evidence that whelping or kittening has commenced (e.g. straining or contracting) and there is no progress within two hours, the bitch or queen must be examined by a veterinary practitioner or other appropriate remedial action taken. - -
7.2.1.1 The person in charge of the facility must establish liaison with a veterinary practitioner who is able to attend to their animals and advise on disease prevention measures. - -
7.2.1.2 The contact details for the veterinary practitioner must be posted in a location which enables staff and visitors to see them. - -
7.2.1.3 Appropriate veterinary treatment must be provided for sick or injured animals. - -
7.2.1.4 Permission in writing must be obtained from the owner (or nominee if the animal is leased at the time of acceptance for breeding) authorising the provision of necessary veterinary treatment. - -
7.2.1.5 Dogs and puppies must be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations unless there is written advice from a veterinary practitioner not to do so. Remove section. There is significant debate regarding vaccination protocols in dogs. In particularly, The Australian Veterinary Association recommends tri-annual vaccination, yet many veterinarians current practice against the AVA’s recommendations. Due to the discrepancies between the AVA, practitioners, and the manufacturers, it seems folly to legislate one particular approach.
7.2.1.6 Cats and kittens must be vaccinated against feline infectious enteritis and feline respiratory disease in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations unless there is written advice from a veterinary practitioner not to do so. Remove section. There is significant debate regarding vaccination protocols in dogs. In particularly, The Australian Veterinary Association recommends tri-annual vaccination, yet many veterinarians current practice against the AVA’s recommendations. Due to the discrepancies between the AVA, practitioners, and the manufacturers, it seems folly to legislate one particular approach.
7.2.1.7 Animals known or suspected to be suffering from a significant infectious disease must not be used for breeding or be accepted for breeding under lease unless under written approval from a veterinary practitioner. - -
7.2.1.8 Internal and external parasites including fleas, lice, ticks, gastrointestinal worms and heartworm must be controlled through routine and preventative treatment as appropriate. Remove section. Already covered by 4.1.4.
7.3.1.1 If treatment to restore the physical and mental health of an animal while in the facility is impractical or unsuccessful, or if euthanasia is recommended by a veterinary practitioner, the animal must be euthanised. 7.3.1.1 If treatment to restore the physical and mental health of an animal while in the facility is impractical or unsuccessful, the animal should be moved to a facility where attendance to its physical and mental needs is attainable. Owners should not be obligated to euthanise animals (“the animal must be euthanised”), nor should this approach be legitimized in the code.
7.3.1.2 Euthanasia must be conducted in an area that is separated from animal accommodation at the facility and must not be carried out in view of any other animals. - -
8.1.1.1 Puppies and kittens must not be sold before they are 7 weeks of age. Unsure. Animals are frequently sold before 7 weeks, but do not permanently vacate the premises before this time. Selling animals prior to 7 weeks means that both the buyer and seller has certainty about the puppy’s future, and this fore-planning should be encouraged, not out-lawed.
8.1.1.2 No animal must be sold unless vaccinated in compliance with the requirements of Section 7.2 of this Code. 8.1.1.2 No animal must be sold unless vaccinated. (Removed section: “in compliance with the requirements of Section 7.2 of this Code.”) There is significant debate regarding vaccination protocols in dogs. In particularly, The Australian Veterinary Association recommends tri-annual vaccination, yet many veterinarians current practice against the AVA’s recommendations. Due to the discrepancies between the AVA, practitioners, and the manufacturers, it seems folly to legislate one particular approach.
8.1.1.3 All animals must be treated for internal and external parasites prior to sale. - -
8.1.1.4 No animal suspected of suffering a significant illness, injury or disease (including congenital diseases) must be sold. 8.1.1.4 No animal suspected of suffering a significant illness, injury or disease (including congenital diseases) must be sold unless the purchaser is provided with written details of its condition prior to sale. As it is currently written, breeders are required to either keep or euthanise animals with illness, injury or disease. Steps should be made that reduce euthanasia, not increase it.
8.1.1.5 At the time of purchase, clients must be offered accurate written information at no charge that concerns the care of animals purchased. - -
9.1.1.1 Bitches and queens must not be intentionally mated during their first oestrous cycle. Remove section. There is no scientific evidence, anywhere, that suggests that breeding bitches on their first cycle is hazardous to the well being of their pups or the dam.
9.1.1.2 Males and females must be physically and mentally fit, healthy and free of disease at the time of mating. - -
9.1.1.3 During mating, breeding pairs must be isolated from other animals, and monitored by the person in charge or a competent member of staff. - -
9.1.1.4 Bitches and queens in the latter stages of pregnancy must be provided with additional food and water, at frequent intervals. - -
9.1.1.5 During birthing bitches and queens must be isolated from other animals and monitored by the person in charge or a competent member of staff on a regular basis to ensure that the birth proceeds in a normal manner. - -
9.1.1.6 Whelping bitches must be provided with a suitable whelping box, lined with clean bedding, which is changed daily. 9.1.1.6 Whelping bitches must be provided with a suitable whelping box, lined with clean bedding. (Section removed: “, which is changed daily.”) Changing bedding daily can be stressful to a bitch and her pups.
9.1.1.7 Kittening queens must be provided with a covered kittening box, lined with clean bedding, which is changed daily. Unsure. Perhaps changing bedding daily is stressful for queens and her kittens, too.
9.1.1.8 Animals that are isolated must be provided with additional attention and socialisation to animal carers. - -
9.1.1.9 Bitches must not have more than two litters in any eighteen month period, unless with the written approval of a veterinary practitioner. Remove section. There is no scientific evidence that suggests that having more than two litters from a bitch in an eighteen month period is hazardous to the health of the bitch or to her pups.
9.1.1.10 Queens must not have more than three litters in any two year period, unless with the written approval of a veterinary practitioner Unsure. Perhaps there is no scientific evidence that multiple litters is hazardous to the health of queens and kits, either.
9.1.1.11 Lactating bitches and queens must be provided with additional food and water. Remove section. Already covered by 6.2.1.1 and
9.1.1.12 Lactating bitches and queens must be housed in such a manner that they are able to escape their young. Remove section. Some bitches (and presumably queens) are ‘bad mothers’ and may inadequately feed their young. If they are allowed an avenue to escape, they may not feed their young, and their young would perish. Breeders should be allowed to make choices based on the welfare of an individual bitch and her young.
9.1.1.13 Kittens or puppies must not be separated from their litter or their lactating mother until they are seven weeks of age, unless it is in the best interests of the puppy or kitten, or their mother. Remove section. It is always in the best interest for puppies to be extensively socialised from 4 weeks old, and independently to their mother and other pups. It is in a puppy’s best interest to be weaned well prior to 8 weeks, when they go to a new home.
9.1.1.14 Puppies and kittens must be monitored when first offered solid food to ensure that the food is acceptable and palatable. Remove section. Owners are already required to provide animals with “appropriate and adequate” food as per the Animal Welfare Act. Unnecessary to include it in this code.
9.1.1.15 Puppies and kittens must be observed to ensure they achieve a steady weight gain every week. Remove section. Owners are already required to provide animals with “appropriate and adequate” food as per the Animal Welfare Act. Unnecessary to include it in this code.

Please feel free to utilise my own submission in whatever way you feel just in preparing your own. I can only hope that this time the powers-that-be heed the submissions and make changes that are based on science and evidence, instead of public outcry.

Dogs SA’s response to the breeder code can be seen here.

Voluntary credit to Tableizer who made creating that massive table a whole lot easier.

05/2/15

My Say: South Australian Dog and Cat Reforms

It’s been brewing for a while. In January 2013 that I urged readers to make a submission to the Select Committee. They were looking for suggestions to ‘improve animal welfare’ and ‘reduce euthanasia in shelters’. It was July 2013 that they ignored all evidence-based suggestions and instead went with simply replicating faulty legislation as seen in other states.

Then it all went quiet, and I was optimistic that the whole stupidity had disappeared.

But in September last year, there were indications that legislation was in the works. A few news articles that gave glimpses of a story.

And then… 

Last month, April 2015, we were given another opportunity to respond. This time, the legislation is written down, and they’re wanting feedback on the actual words. It’s great that they’re inviting feed back, but some of the choices are a bit concerning.

Each area will have its own blog post, but this blog post serves as a summary of the major points.

Submissions can be made through the Your Say website through the section on South Australia’s Dog and Cat Reforms.

There are two proposed areas for change:

Further, there is a Citzens’ Jury on mandatory desexing.

 

A new Breeder Code of Practice (COP)

While this could’ve been disastrous, the COP proposed here is milder than that in other states (like Victoria). So breeders can take a much needed breath – at least for now.

The ‘good thing’ about this COP is that it does not discriminate on breeders based on arbitrary measures. It simply requires that anyone who breeds dogs or cats ‘for sale’ is required to register as a breeder. However, this is a little bit muddy. Do I have to register as a breeder if I sell a litter? If I have a litter that is born? If I have a bitch in whelp? When I attempt a mating? When I own an entire animal? This area is unclear.

Myrtle and Clover both lactated and mothered Myrtle's litter of puppies.

Myrtle and Clover both lactated and mothered Myrtle’s litter of puppies.

The main issues are:

    • A lot of the standards and guidelines are incredibly burdensome for a small hobby breeder. This includes excessive record keeping.
    • The code practically prohibits the use of crates by breeders. Crates have many purposes. The way the COP is written, crates are smaller than the minimal size area that dogs can be kept in.
    • The COP requires animals to be isolated from each other, in situations that are excessive. For example, a bitch cannot raise a litter with another bitch (i.e. co-parent), as they must be isolated from other animals when with pups. Also, bitches who are in season must be separated from other animals – which is a 3 week period where a social animal is required to be by themselves.
    • Standards sometimes do not apply for people with droving or stock-working dogs. If these standards are necessary for best practice, then they must be true for all dogs. Suggesting that the physical and psychological needs of working dogs varies weakens this legislation.
    • A standard specifies that animals “must” (quote!) be euthanised on the recommendation of a vet.

For more details, see the complete blog post.

 

Changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act (D&CMA)

I was surprised to find I had more objections with these changes than the breeder code! They are:

  • Facilities are not required to check for a microchip in lost animals! While I support the general idea that all animals should be microchipped, I am alarmed that the changes to the Act do not necessitate an authorised person and a facility to scan for a microchip on all animals impounded, and animals that are received deceased (e.g. road kill animals). This section urgently needs attention to ensure that facilities carefully check animals for microchip, seek this microchip number on available databases, and action the contact details linked on the database. This section of the Act urgently needs to be reviewed.
  • They can desex your lost pet! I am incredibly troubled by the proposed inclusion that allows a holding facility to desex and microchip an animal in their care. It is unclear why this section of the legislation has been included. It does not specify a time limit from seizure to surgery – hence, a person with a dog roaming at large for several hours could have their dog seized and desexed before being returned. This is a huge violation of the rights of the owner to keep their dog entire if they see fit. This section must be amended to at least specify that desexing can only occur 72 hours after impoundment.
  • Requiring all animals to be microchipped. If a pet owner has a pet that is not microchipped, they will have to have it microchipped. The cost of doing so could be prohibitive and people may be forced to choose to relinquish their pets or live as criminals under the D&CMA. A grace period of two years may help to alleviate this problem.
  • The requirement of breeders to be registered. I’ve always maintained that breeder registration will not achieve the welfare aims many activists believe. That is, breeder registration is bollocks.

More details on these changes in this blog post.

 

I hope this gives you a basis to begin your submission, and hope to provide you more specific inclusions for your submissions in the coming days.