New Code of Conduct misses the critical issues

The new Code of Conduct for pet shop sales has just been gazetted. Here is the link to the document (PDF)

This replaces the current Code of Conduct for Pet Shops. It includes both Standards and Guidelines: Standards are mandatory and Guidelines are recommendations. Breaches of any of the Standards liable to a $200 fine. Section 10 is about the Sale of Animals. For example, the Standards (mandatory) include:

10.1.1 Dogs and cats must not be sold to people less than 18 years of age.
10.1.4 At the time of purchase of an animal, clients must be offered, at no charge, accurate written information on the care of animal purchased.
10.1.5 If within 3 days an animal (except a fish) is not acceptable to the purchaser for any reason, the pet shop proprietor is required to take the animal back and refund 50% of the purchase price of the animal.
10.1.7 If an animal dies or is euthanased as a result of a disease that is traceable to the point of sale and is verified by an appropriate authority such as a veterinarian, the person in charge will refund the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

But the Guidelines (NOT mandatory, just suggestions..) include:

10.2.1 The active promotion of desexing for cats and dogs at the point of sale is strongly encouraged.
10.2.2 The person in charge of the pet shop is encouraged to develop relationships with pounds and shelters to broker the sale of these animals through pet shops. This could be through the provision of noticeboards, posters or interactive displays, or the hosting of events at which shelter animals visit the business.

So nothing on the source of Pet Shop puppies and kittens, and the only thing on impulse buys is that written information about the “care” of the animal purchased must be provided.

The REAL issues are NOT addressed, namely:

  • Where are the Pet Shops sourcing their animals? Under what conditions are the parents kept and bred?
  • Pet shops can still sell animals undesexed to anyone (over 18 years) that has money, those animals have babies that are unwanted and dumped at pounds/shelters
  • The lack of proper interviewing of prospective buyers to see if they can provide the right care for the animal for the whole of his/her life…
  • The Pet Shops are still supporting the mass breeding (Puppy and Kitten farmers) into a market that is already flooded
  • The result will still be an excess of healthy animals that the taxpayer via the Pound death row system has to ‘clean up’..

A very small step forward, but not even close to a real solution.


DODGY pet shop owners will face tough new penalties

Article from: Daily Telegraph By Lauren Williams
DODGY pet shop owners will face tough new penalties for maltreatment of animals under new state government regulations to be introduced next week.
Minors will also be banned from buying pets under the overhaul, and a mandatory three-day cooling-off period will be introduced to stop impulse buys. The move follows attempts by Clover Moore to introduce a drastic law banning pet shops altogether, claiming irresponsible breeding practices and impulse buys were out of control.
Pet shop owner Bob Croucher said the changes were a good “half-way point” and would give the RSPCA teeth to deal with pet stores doing the wrong thing.
“Things like small pens with too many animals and especially impulse buys are a problem for a minority of pet shops,” he said
The new laws give RSPCA patrol officers power to investigate stores and issue minimum $200 on-the-spot-fines. They will also specify pen and cage sizes for different animals and force shopowners to supply written information on how to care for purchased pets.
RSPCA NSW CEO Steven Coleman said his staff receive 200-300 complaints annually about pet shop conditions.“This will make it clear and fair as to what is required of pet shops and what is required of us to monitor them,” he said. He said the penalty system acted as a good incentive for owners to act ethically in the first instance and would tackle the problem of impulse buys.“Buying the animal is the cheapest part of owning an animal,” he said.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said, while the majority of pet shops operate in a highly professional way and already met the new standards, “these changes are aimed at bringing all pet shop retailers up to the same level”.

1 Undesexed Female Cat + 7 years = 420,000 Kittens…

One female cat and her off-spring can breed over a period of 7 years adding 420,000 new cats!! Did you know that cats can fall pregnant at four months of age and dogs at 5 months of age? Many cats and dogs are born “by mistake” because owners don’t get around to desexing them in time. The excuse by the Pet Shop or breeder is often that the animal is too young when it is sold. BUT ‘Early Age’ desexing at 2-4 months is perfectly safe and feasible! (And no puppy or kitten should be sold before 8 weeks at the very earliest.)
We believe that de-sexing of pets can and should be done at the point of sale. We would like this to become mandatory. We believe that the person who has bred the kitten or puppy should be responsible for desexing the pet, even if they simply add the fee to the price they are asking. At least the job is done and there are many, many health benefits for your pet!

Animal Welfare League, Queensland says….
Myth: You have to wait until 6 months to de-sex your pet
Fact: There are greater benefits from de-sexing between 2 – 4 months. Although traditionally 6 months was the age that most vets recommended, there has been significant research in the last twenty years to show that de-sexing between 2-4 months is actually just as safe and your kitten or pup will recover much more quickly than an older animal. There will also be no risk of an unwanted litter to add to the huge numbers of animals that currently have to be euthanized every year in Australia because there are not enough homes.

Early Age De-sexing (2-4 months) – The Benefits

  1. Animals live longer
  2. There is a sharp decrease in likelihood of cancers
  3. Younger animals recover much faster, with less bleeding during surgery and shorter surgery time
  4. There is increasing evidence that it has positive influence on socialisation and behaviour
  5. It helps reduce companion animal over-population and the euthanasia of healthy pets as cats can be pregnant by 5 months and dogs by 6 months