“Something is wrong with this industry and something needs to be done about it.”Who are PIAA?

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.”

If you wish to read the rest of this PIAA statement, together with our comments on their work of fiction, click here.

……..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:bobcroucher@petnews.com.au

Steve Austin (President) Phone: (02) 9651 1747 Email:info@petresortsaustralia.com

BOARDING SERVICES: Vern Ryan Phone: (03) 5369 5236 Email:vernryan@vernryanspetresort.com.au

GROOMING SERVICES: Sharon Hall Phone: (02) 4423 2264 Email: shaz@shoalhaven.net.au

RETAIL: Brendan Westaway (Vice President) Phone: (07) 5578 2377 Email:brendan@thepetbarn.com.au

SUPPLIERS:Tom Cellucci Phone: (02) 8796 5116 Email: tom_cellucci@kongs.com.au

PET SERVICES :Ralf (Julie) Munson Phone: (07) 5450 7750 Email: ralf@dontfretpet.com.au

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.

DRP comment:

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, rperkins@piaa.net.au and let him know your reactions to their press release.


9 thoughts on ““Something is wrong with this industry and something needs to be done about it.”Who are PIAA?

  1. Diana July 6, 2010 / 4:03 pm

    My own view is that a genuine animal rescue group would NEVER be a member of the PIAA.

  2. tdeirikx July 8, 2010 / 11:08 am

    There is a lot of debate about NSWAR belonging to PIAA.

    My own view is that if NSW Animal Rescue happens to be a member of the PIAA, that doesn’t mean that the rescue is any less ethical in the treatment and rehoming of the dogs in their care, than non-PIAA member rescue groups.

    As a volunteer and foster carer for NSW Animal Rescue, I can attest to the responsible rehoming of dogs on a very regular basis. I have had around 35 fosters through my place in the past 12 months or so – and each and every one of them have been rehomed. The dogs at the rescue property are not being hoarded – many of them have also been rehomed when they are ready to be so.

    NSWAR takes in a lot of special needs dogs that need to be rehabilitated before being rehomed. This may mean that some may be in care longer than people might at first sight appreciate. The perspective NSWAR takes is not how MANY we can rehome in a short turnaround of time, but how WELL we rehome them after making sure that they are totally ready for rehoming.

    NSWAR is not the only rescue that is a member of the PIAA… food for thought there


  3. Diana July 30, 2010 / 8:01 pm

    I appreciate that you will defend them because you volunteer there. However, I know of some former employees and volunteers who would agree with me also. I volunteered at the property myself, but after a couple of weeks of seeing the situation and that the RSPCA were called in because of numerous complaints I left.

    It would be interesting if you would name the other rescues who are members of the PIAA?

    On the subject of pet shops, you may be aware that there are about 2,000 pet shops in Oz and only about 350 or so are members of the PIAA. I think that says how popular the PIAA are within their own industry.

  4. Diana July 31, 2010 / 6:44 pm

    I see a bit of editing has taken place on these posts because I am sure my post wasn’t as politically correct as that. Guilty as charged, but I get very angry when faced with animal abusers. That’s it in a nutshell.

  5. tdierikx July 31, 2010 / 7:13 pm

    I think you might be mistakenly venting your ire on the wrong entity here Diana. I do not run the rescue – I just volunteer there and happen to be friends with the people who run it. I am certainly NOT an “animal abuser” and neither are my friends.

    You don’t know me, and I don’t know you – so why take our frustrations out on each other because you appear to associate the PIAA with this particular rescue every time there is s blog post on DRP about the PIAA?

    How about we divert the subject back to the topic at hand – which I read to be asking for comment relating to public statements made by the PIAA – who they are and what they represent…

    You make a fair comment about the lack of PIAA membership of most pet shops in Australia – why do you think that may be?

  6. Diana S August 9, 2010 / 11:21 pm

    In my opinion, low membership of the PIAA would be because they are a corrupt, money grabbing organisation that honest, hardworking GENUINE animal lovers don’t want any part of.

  7. tdierikx August 10, 2010 / 7:40 am

    Interesting argument there… but if read literally, couldn’t it also be taken to mean that all the pet shops that weren’t members of the PIAA are “honest, hardworking, genuine animal lovers”?

    How about the fact that the PIAA really don’t have much clout in the animal industry – except to pop up and make public statements about their own “legitimacy” every now and then…?

    If you were on the board of a body like the PIAA, how would you do things differently? Would you ban all animal breeding, or regulate it so that the animals weren’t abused in the process?

    Banning all breeding would eventually lead to NO pets for anyone – which isn’t a concept that I’m comfortable with myself – I couldn’t see living in a world where I’m forced to have no animal companions…

    Regulation – with proper enforcement of the health and welfare aspects – would be much more viable IMHO. Funnily enough, we already have perfectly good laws in place to ensure this – but they aren’t being policed effectively or consistently. The average pet owner is more likely to be a target than the large scale producer of pups for sale – which is a truly sad indictment on those responsible for policing the laws.

  8. Diana October 8, 2010 / 7:05 pm

    Actually the laws aren’t remotely adequate. If I was a board member of the PIAA I would lobby to ban puppy farmers, backyard breeders, pet shops who sell animals and be in support of Clover Moore’s Animal Bill. I would also like to see registered breeders become licenced breeders with strict controls place on them. That is what an ethical organisation would do instead of supporting the overpopulation problem of companion animals, which currently exists. I’m glad I’m not on the board though, as things currently stand, because as you so rightly say no-one listens to them anyway. Only responsible people should be allowed to own a pet.

    I would in no way want to see no companion animals around, that is simply ludicrous. I love my 2 dogs, 2 cats, cockatoo and bunny. However, it is far too easy to come by a pet and then dump it when it no longer appeals. Hence the reason we need rescues at all. I really feel for genuine rescues who have to clean up societies mess.

    The day the pounds in this country aren’t overloaded and can successfully rehome all rehomeable animals, without thousands of animals ending their lives there, or release them to rescue, is a day I very much look forward to.

    I can see the day fast approaching for a complete ban on puppy farming and backyard breeding and petless pet shops now far outweigh the animal selling ones because the public have spoken. The intelligent ones would never contemplate buying a pet shop or backyard breeder pet. Justice for the animals will prevail in the end, but unfortunately change takes time.

  9. tdierikx October 8, 2010 / 8:41 pm

    I understand your point of view Diana, and your opinions on the current issues with policing the laws and regulations already in place, but I don’t fully agree with you on a few points…

    Are your 2 dogs, 2 cats, cockatoo, and bunny fully pedigreed and legitimately bred by ethical registered breeders Diana? Because the things you are asking for in your regulation changes will only allow purebred and industry registered animals to be bred and sold to the public. Not everyone wants one of those… I personally prefer mutts – just a preference, not anything to do with myths about their supposed health and “vigour”…

    Who would set the rules by which “responsible” ownership would apply? Would you pass stranger’s definition of “responsible” pet owner?

    Personally, I would like to see the current laws and regulations policed effectively – without fear or favour. As the situation stands right now, the people charged with doing the policing have their own agenda to follow that has the result of not much being policed unless they can score media attention (and nice fat donations) out of it. I honestly believe that the people that have the “contract” to police the laws and regulations should be independent of any business activity related to said policing. Having an organisation like the RSPCA in charge of these things is like allowing the fox to run the henhouse – not really conducive to a fair and positive outcome…

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