A forum held last week by the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) has called for changes to the boarding kennel and cattery sector.
Organised in response to a number of deaths that occurred in kennels over the Christmas and New Year period, more than 50 guests attended the 2 February event in the NSW Hunter Valley including representatives from RSPCA NSW, TAFE, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) NSW, and various owners who recently lost pets in facilities.
The aim of participants was to discuss the issue and seek a way forward that ensures all kennels and catteries are transparent, accountable and comply with relevant codes of practice.
At present, all PIAA kennel members must submit an annual PIAA vet audit and agree to random inspections by PIAA. Unfortunately, PIAA membership is voluntary so non-member kennels do not have to comply with PIAA Standards & Guidelines.
A PIAA press release issued after the event stated: “There are many kennels in the industry that do not comply with any standards or guidelines. PIAA wants to ensure that this does not continue. Many councils do not require kennels to be registered. We would like to see that change. Many councils do not enforce their codes of practice. We would like to also see that change. In NSW, the code of practice is 21 years old and is well overdue for an update.”
During the forum, RSPCA NSW announced it would partner with PIAA on this issue and AVA NSW also pledged to join forces to work for change.
The press release added that the next step is to get councils on board as the regulators and ensure that the codes are updated, utilised, available and in the public eye. “It won’t be an overnight fix, but we have taken the lead on this and it is a great starting point.”