Independent Member of Parliament and Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore has called for a select committee inquiry into companion animal welfare in NSW:
This is the text of the motion. Details on HOW TO SUPPORT are BELOW the motion text:(Parliament House) MS CLOVER MOORE to move— That this House: (1) Appoints a select committee to inquire on companion animal welfare with the view to improving their welfare. (2) That the committee consider the following: (a) The number and cause of companion animals arriving in NSW shelters and pounds each year and their outcome, such as whether they get re-homed, re-united or euthanized; (b) Breeding of companion animals; (c) The practices associated with the sale of companion animals including from pet shops, markets, pounds, shelters, on-line, classifieds, or to the overseas market;
It is extremely important to the welfare of NSW companion animals (and as a precedent for other States) that this motion for an inquiry is accepted by the Government.
We believe that it is likely that those groups with vested interests through the pet industry will lobby hard that the inquiry is a “waste of time and taxpayers money”. There are those that will not want an inquiry – they have the ear of governments and they will lobby hard.
If an inquiry does eventuate, they will likely claim that they are ones who should be tasked with conducting it. ( … see more info on who they are at the end of this post).
So if you care about companion animals and the terrible carnage in our pounds and shelters, please get involved and let MPs know just how important it is that an inquiry is accepted under the terms called for by Member of Parliament Ms Moore, and no less.
Actions you can take:
Here are some options:
Ms Moore asks that all NSW residents who are seeking a better outcome for animals contact their local Member as a matter of urgency. The debate can be called at any time (there is a queue system), and most likely in July. There is little time to take action. If you are not a NSW resident, you can still write and let the Premier and Minister for Primary Industries know that this is important for animal welfare across the country and that you hope to see NSW take a leadership position. Residents outside NSW should also write letters to newspapers and call on talk back radio to help buidl the profile of the campaign.
1) The very best option is for you to arrange a meeting with your local MP and explain how important the issue of animal welfare is for you and why the Inquiry is so important, together with your request that the MP votes for accepting the motion.
A guide to how to meet with your MP and what to say (as well as letter writing): Guidelines for lobbying. Don’t forget to ask if they have animals themselves!
2) Letters and emails are not so good in impact, but if you really can’t visit face to face, or live outside of NSW, then they are better than doing nothing. Here is a letter you can download and use as a model to send – by post preferably, but read the info in the Guidelines for lobbying first. MP_letter_NSW_Inquiry_R2
If you use this letter, please personalise it. If you have a cat or dog you rehomed from a shelter, include a photo and explain what would have happened if you hadn’t been there for that pet.
3) please sign our on-line petition to support Ms Moore – many already have; click here (if you signed the petition from a year ago, no need to sign again)
4) please write letters to your local newspapers and the majors; call and speak on your local radio
4) please circulate this information to as many people as possible and ask that they take immediate action. This is the most important opportunity in a long time. Spread the news. Give people the link to this post.
5) Ms Moore needs to know how many letters and visits have taken place, so please let us know when you do at firstname.lastname@example.org. Will will collate a summary and send it on. Alternatively email Ms Moore’s campaign manager Tammie.Nardone@parliament.nsw.gov.au
6) Do not assume that MPs, or even members of your Council. know that there is a problem. Most do not. We almost daily get a “please help – due to be killed on Friday” message. How many of these get sent to the MPs? If you work in rescue or volunteer at a pound, start sending them to your MP and local Mayor. NSW stats for 3 years are in the letter you can download above if you need them.
7) Do you work in Rescue & Rehoming? Write a detailed letter to your MPs explaining a typical week in Rescue – what you have to do, the pressure you are under, the deadlines you have to meet, the resources you have to find, the disappointments when you can’t save that animal, the satisfaction when you do. Invite them to visit the pound with you. Compile and send them an RIP page like this one as an example. Or use this one here :Why
8) Do you work in a Pound or Shelter? Write to your MP and explain what goes on and the pressures you and your colleagues are all under. Give them the numbers. Send photos. Invite them to the facility – show them the reality.
9) Lobby your local Mayor or Councillors to contact their MP to support the Inquiry. The Inquiry will be as much about Council relationships with animals – remind them about the huge cost to ratepayers of funding the animal control and expounding facilities and the quality of the service that they provide their ratepayers in respect of animal welfare.
NOTE: do not just focus on the pet shop issue – this is about the full spectrum of companion animal welfare issues – the bigger picture. Further notes below. Please note that if you have pets yourself, you are implicitly a supporter of the pet industry. If we buy pet food, pay vet bills, kennel and train our cat or dog , have rabbits or guinea pigs, then we will want a healthy pet industry. But not at any cost – the cost of thousands killed un-necesarily because vested interests are blocking the process of much needed reform. Don’t knock the pet industry – bash the way it is currently run and te poor results it produces.
The NSW companion animal system kills un-necessarily thousands of healthy animals a year.
It requires a complete overhaul.
The only way for this to occur openly and for the best outcomes is for all the facts to be tabled, under oath in a formal Parliamentary enquiry. Only then can unbiased policy can be developed without the influences of the Associations and Industry groups that have hitherto guided and influenced policy to continue this broken system.
The pet industry and unregulated back yard breeders are freely allowed to mass produce and sell undesexed animals to anyone who has money -the pet industry actively encourages buyers to have litters of babies ; they encourage backyard breeders and puppy and kitten mills (mass producers) to produce for them, so they can continue their revenue stream. The cost to the NSW Taxpayer is massive – managing (poorly) an estimated 60,000 + animals (excluding grey hounds discarded by the racing industry) that are kept and then killed in Council and Charity Pounds and Shelters each year.
Thousands of people are subjected to massive human issues of un-paid labour, trauma, emotional stress and damage from a system that euthanizes healthy animals through poor or non existent rehoming strategies.
NSW Charities and Rescue Groups and the community need to dedicate millions of dollars to try and stem the tide that is caused by unregulated breeding and poor rehoming of unwanted animals and a greyhound industry that flies well below the radar.
Why does all of this need to occur in a modern, compassionate and humane society? Clover Moore introduced an Animals (Regulation of Sale) 2008 bill in NSW Parliament which was rejected. In 2007 a similar Bill was effectively squashed by government and industry interests who oppose regulation that would create badly needed balance in the supply chain of cats and dogs in the pet industry.
An Inquiry is needed to identify and resolve all the issues and to create solutions for a more equitable and healthy pet industry.