CEO of RSPCA ACT Michael Linke has this to say (Press release Mar 31, 2010):
“Something is wrong with this industry and something needs to be done about it. The public is confused, regulation is lax and animals are suffering as a result and RSPCA is picking up the pieces at a tremendous cost.”
Here is the June 2010, PIAA “press release”
The following “text in italics” is the text of the PIAA statement released as a result of the excellent Sun Herald expose on the reasons behind the 250,000 healthy animals killed each year in Australian Pounds and Shelters
“The Facts on Pet Shops
An article in Sunday’s NSW Sun Herald by reporter Rachel Browne indicates, in part, that sale of animals through pet shops contribute significantly to the unacceptable high rate of euthanasia of pets in Australia.
The Pet Industry Association of Australia (‘PIAA’) is concerned that recent reporting on the pet industry is both inaccurate and misleading.
PIAA members are recognized as leaders in their field complying with codes of practice that are world class”
“In addition members have the ability to achieve Accredited Member status, the highest level of recognition for a business within the pet industry”.
The PIAA abhors the breeding of animals in inhumane conditions.”
……..And so, who exactly are PIAA??
The PIAA website says:
” The Pet Industry Association of Australia is the peak body for the pet industry in Australia – the only industry Association in Australia to represent the entire range of businesses involved in the pet industry.”
It also says…
” The Pet Industry Association works in cooperation with governments, animal welfare agencies and other pet and animal groups nationally and also internationally. The Pet Industry Association makes formal submissions on pet ownership and pet industry issues at the request of government agencies and industry regulators. The Pet Industry Association is represented on many government steering, consultation and advisory groups around Australia.”
On their website, the new CEO of PIAA, Roger (”Retailers buy their animals from reputable sources”) Perkins, says:
“The PIAA is the leading association representing Australia’s $4.62b pet industry. We have experienced strong growth but with many ongoing opportunities for further development. Whilst looking to continue the expansion of membership, I also look forward to facilitating and leading improvements in industry knowledge, standards and training and in promoting members to the public and the trade. It is also apparent that we need to play a major role in advocacy and lobbying on behalf of the industry and in facilitating and leading industry networking and cohesion.”
“I have a strong commitment to the welfare of companion animals and recognise the enormous benefits of these animals bring to our community.”
My approach is embracing and conciliatory and I am keen that the PIAA draws all our stakeholders together to discuss the important issues and collectively find solutions for the common good so that the PIAA is acknowledged as having a valued role in shaping the pet industry’s future”,
DRP Comment: We don’t dispute that PIAA may well be a valuable and important resource to the $4.62bn dollar pet industry.
But they are NOT a welfare group.
They are an industry association dedicated to ensuring the performance and profitability of its members. We don’t have a problem with that, but when that profitability is seemingly dependent on ensuring a large number of companion animals, reptiles, fish (and possibly soon to be announced Australian Native Animals in the market.), then we have very high levels of concern.
And let’s look at who the Directors of PIAA are:
Bob Croucher (Company Secretary) Phone: (02) 9552 6200 Email:email@example.com
Steve Austin (President) Phone: (02) 9651 1747 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
BOARDING SERVICES: Vern Ryan Phone: (03) 5369 5236 Email:email@example.com
GROOMING SERVICES: Sharon Hall Phone: (02) 4423 2264 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
RETAIL: Brendan Westaway (Vice President) Phone: (07) 5578 2377 Email:email@example.com
SUPPLIERS:Tom Cellucci Phone: (02) 8796 5116 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PET SERVICES :Ralf (Julie) Munson Phone: (07) 5450 7750 Email: email@example.com
Croucher is a small-shop keeper and publisher of the voice of PIAA, the Pet Industry News; Austin is a dog trainer and runs a kennel enterprise called Pet Resorts; Ryan runs another pet kennelling business; Hall runs a grooming service; Westaway runs a Pet Barn retail operation; Cellucci is the Administration Officer of a pet supplies business; Munson is part of another dog minding business.
Roger (”Retailers buy their animals from reputable sources”) Perkins, the new CEO: “His most recent CEO role was with the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (ie The Easter Show..) and prior to that ran ANL Limited, the shipping company.”
…. Lots of animal welfare experience there!
And so we see lots of animal welfare experience and credentials amongst the PIAA board!!
…….and are these really people that Government takes advice from in matters to do with animal welfare????
It’s not really a surprise then is it that over 250,000 healthy cats and dogs of the Australian pet industry a year are killed in Australian pounds and shelters. The Australian pet industry of which PIAA is the “self proclaimed” peak body.
It’s time the public and government realised that PIAA have no ceredentials and no rights whatsoever to represent companion animals in issues related to animal welfare. At the end of the day they have a very small membership of pet shops across the country and therefore do not even represent the majority of pet shops.
Actions you can take:
Write to your local member and government representatives and let them know your views about PIAA. Write to Roger (”Retailers buy their animals from reputable sources”) Perkins, firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know your reactions to their press release.