The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) South Australia Division has launched its 2014 state election policy platform, with recommendations for the new government on improving the welfare of companion animals and reducing the number of unwanted pets.
“Companion dogs and cats play an enormously important role in the wellbeing of our community. They help individuals stay happier and healthier, and they help create friendly neighbourhoods when cared for by responsible owners,” said Dr Andrew Carter, president of the AVA’s South Australia division.
“So it’s tragic when healthy pets in need of new homes are put down,” he said.
The AVA supports the report into Breeding and Sale of Companion Animals that was tabled in state parliament last year.
“We are calling for a specific code of practice for the re-homing of companion animals to ensure animals are re-homed with owners that suit the specific type and temperament of the animal. The prospective owners should also have a clear understanding of the needs of the animal they are adopting.
“While most organisations follow stringent re-homing processes, there are some that will re-home animals that have medical or behavioural problems that new owners are not made aware of.
“This is when problems occur, and sadly owners return the pet because they weren’t prepared for the additional time and funds needed to properly care for their new pet,” Dr Carter said.
The AVA recommendations include:
- Expansion of the SA Code of Practice for the Care and Management of Animals in the Pet Trade to include trade of animals in public places and shelters
- Adjusting cage sizes
- Improvements to restrictions around the sale of animals in extreme heat or cold
- A requirement for the vendor to provide advice on standard disease prevention techniques and ensure the sale of a cat or dog is accompanied by a veterinary vaccination certificate
- That the minimum age of sale for dogs and cats be increased to eight weeks
- That an enforceable Code of Practice for the re-homing of companion animals be established.
A full copy of the policy platform document is available online here.