The self-proclaimed “peak body” Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC) are an industry lobby group with strong vested commercial interests in the pet industry. Read this post in conjunction with Who are ACAC?
Their member organisations are all groups who have actively campaigned at government level against iniatives aimed at stopping the slaughter of unwanted companion animals in pounds and shelters:
NSW: Animals(Regulation of Sale) Bill 2007, 2008; Clover Moore; Independent Minister
ACT: Animal Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2010; Caroline LeCouteur, ACT Greens
So why is the Animal Welfare League a member of this group? What are they doing there? Maybe there is an explanation? So we wrote this letter on March 10 2011 to the President of AWLA Grant Robb:
“Date: 10/03/2011; Grant Robb, President, AWL Australia
Animal Welfare League support for Australian Companion Animals Council (ACAC)
On the 17 February the ACAC (self proclaimed “peak body’ for companion animals in Australia) sent a submission to the ACT Greens representative Caroline le Couteur MLA, and copied to ACT Minister Jon Stanhope, whereby they negated and criticised the content of the proposed bill Animal Welfare Legislation 2010.
It is well known that ACAC is primarily a lobby group representing the commercial interests of the representative bodies, all of whom have vested interests in the pet trade. The groups represented by the Group have a documented history of lobbying governments and objecting to any proposed animal welfare legislation designed to reduce the number of healthy animals killed unnecessarily in pounds and shelters across the country. They were very vocal in fighting NSW Minister Clover Moore’s proposed Animals (Regulation of Sales Bill) 2007.2008 and they are active today arguing against the ACT Greens Bill. In essence they are concerned with and act against any move that will impact on animal numbers in the market and therefore their trade. None have any accountability or make any contributions towards the problem of over-supply of animals that end up in pounds and shelters across the country. ( Apart from Pedigree who fund the Pedigree Adoption Drive)
What is of significant concern to us, and many of our members, is that in the letter written by Kirsty Seksel, (1) she claims that the Animal Welfare League is a represented member organisation, and by implication that the AWL supports the campaign to interfere with the proposed Animal Welfare Legislation.
I would appreciate it if you could please clarify the AWL position on this matter.
I can only imagine that AWL supporters, and members of the public will be devastated to learn that your organisation supports a commercially motivated , industry lobby group with members who support the pet shop industry and other related industry associations.
Please note that this is a public letter that we will publish together with your response. Thank you Grant – we look forward to hearing from you on this matter”
lttr_grobb_AWLA_Mar11 – original pdf of letter
Despite 2 reminders, we never recieved the courtesy of a reply. And as we’ve said before, when they don’t reply, they usually have something to hide. Is our question out of line? Tell us what you think? Was this anything to do with previous CEO of AWL NSW Maryann Dalton (now gone) well known friendship with ACAC President Kirsty Seksel? Gee, we do hate to jump to conclusions! A simple reply from Mr Robb would have removed any speculations!
Actions you can take:
Email Grant Robb yourself and ask the question: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
Ask the CEO of your local Animal Welfare League for an explanation; “Why is AWL a member of an industry lobby group with strong vested commercial interests working hard at blocking initiatives to regulate the pet industry?:
NSW President Alan Hunt: ‘email@example.com’
(AWL NSW CEO Maryann Dalton was recently removed from her post after years of (questionable) service for the animals)
AWL CEO Victoria Liz Walker: firstname.lastname@example.org
AWL Queensland Denise Bradley: Denise@awlqld.com.au
Let them know know politely what you think about AWL association with ACAC and demand a response: “why is AWLA a member of an industry lobby group with vested commercial interests?”
Please let us know any answers you get email@example.com. What are your thoughts on AWL being a member of ACAC?