How to temp test into the kill zone – an article by Kirsty Seksel

Veterinary behaviourist Kirsty Seksel says : “the sad reality is that many of the dogs relinquished to these groups (Rescue Groups) are not suitable for rehoming and should be euthenased in the interest of the long term welfare of the dog. Unfortunately there is little if no expertise in many of these groups to assess the suitability of these dogs for rehoming purposes”

Download  and read this article here , just copy link into your browser

Ms Seksel is CEO of ACAC ( Australian Companion Animal Council)

DRP Comment:

This is an important article to read and understand. Kirsty Seksel is the CEO of ACAC – an industry lobby group that has manoeuvred itself into  positions of giving governments advice on dog and cat matters. She is a member of the current NSW Companion Animal Taskforce, which has recently taken 2 years to come up with some recommendations to NSW Ministers. I won’t comment on the Taskforce recommendations here, other than to say that of course, ………….no commercial vested interests will be unduly inconvenienced if the proposals are accepted.

A worrying development is that this “expert” has recently appeared at Blacktown Pound to give “advice” to management., The result was that 5 dogs earmarked to go to Rescue Groups were summarily executed.

Open question to Kirsty Seksel : “Ms Seksel, what exactly have you, or your commercial entities,  done in the past to increase rehoming rates from pounds/shelters?”

If you want to know more about ACAC, just use the search facility on the home page.


“Someone has to be an advocate for the animals and that’s what I see as my role”: Kirsty Seksel

The article below, Pet Project,  is from the Dubbo Week-ender that appeared on July 14th 2012.

Please download it here: petProjectDubboWeekender_July12

Whilst we certainly agree with the sentiment of allowing residents of aged care facilities to keep their pets, there are some alarming messages embedded in the article that those involved in companion animal advocacy and rescue will need to pay attention to.

Firstly,  printed articles like this get out to a very wide readership;  5000 copies are distributed, and then there is the e-version which will go to many readers. Rescue groups and animal welfare advocates are just not competing with this.

Kirsty Seksel (ACAC)  has managed to get herself into this article and is using it as a vehicle to send some messages that we should not under-estimate.

(If you want to know more about ACAC, read this here and here )

These are the important points from this article.

as president of the  Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC) the nation’s peak body for the pet care industry” . Message: ..listen to us….

“…… among a range of factors ACAC is investigating in an attempt to arrest the declining level of pet ownership in Australia. According to the non-profit organisation, between 1994 and 2009 Australia experienced a 22 percent increase in human population, whilst at the same time there was a 10 per cent decrease in the number of pet dogs and 20 percent decrease in number of pet cats

Message: They are very concerned about declining owned –animal numbers. We know this; this is a drum Seksel and others have been banging for a very long time. The Vet Associations are very concerned about declining owned pet numbers. Obviously it will affect their businesses. The massive numbers of un-owned animals in pounds and shelters are not of concern to them – there is no money in pound animals. That is the whole point of the messages that Seksel is sending in this article.

Seksel (The ACAC representative on the NSW Taskforce) says that “the responsibility for many of the deaths (in pounds) can be laid at the door of people who breed dogs and cats without thinking of the consequences”.

Fine, we can agree with that, but then she goes on to say “We need to breed animals that are suitable as pets and that’s a big issue”.

Now we agree with that statement, but what she is not saying is that she is laying a path to the Breeders (……. who are members of ACAC). She is NOT saying – if you want a pet, get it from your pound or RSPCA or AWL. ( My personal view, I have no problem with responsible breeders, but let’s empty the pounds first…) READ MORE HERE

Comments on the members of the NSW Companion Animal Taskforce 2012

The following text is taken from the Deathrowpets submission to the NSW CA Taskforce public discussion document, June 2012. It sets out our perspectives on the stacking of the Taskforce membership with members predominantly having strong commercial vested interests in the pet industry. The document contains many links to various documents created by these organisations that should be on the public record. This submission will be made available to the public by the NSW Taskforce.

Appendix to Deathrowpets submission to NSW Companion Animal Taskforce public discussion document 2012

As part of our submission, we wish to comment on membership of the Taskforce. Membership of the Taskforce has a significant context to the findings and recommendations set out in the discussion paper.

(Underlined references below are hyperlinks to documents)

Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC),

An industry body with strong commercial vested interests in maintaining high numbers of animals in the market; specifically established to counter the growing voice of public opinion and advocacy which seeks to stop the killing of animals in pounds and shelters; specifically established to protect the commercial interests of pet industry members; no experience whatsoever in developing strategies to increase Rehoming rates and reduce killing rates in pounds and shelters. READ MORE HERE

9 questions for ACAC” (Australian Companion Animal Council)

The following is the text of a letter sent to the head of ACAC, the self proclaimed “peak body” for companion animals and the pet industry in Australia:

(This post should be read in conjunction with “who are ACAC?”)

You can download the letter here:  lttr_kseksel_ACAC_R2_Apr11, or read below!

Date 24 April 2011 President ACAC, Kirsty Seksel: Dear Ms Seksel

 Re Questions for ACAC concerning companion animals

Deathrowpets represents a large number of members of the community concerned with the number of unwanted companion animals that end up in pounds and shelters and the very significant numbers of these animals that are needlessly killed each year. I understand that you share these concerns.

 We note that your organisation professes to be the “peak body” concerning companion animals and the pet industry in Australia. Therefore I believe it appropriate to pass on to you some questions that our members are asking. READ MORE HERE

Why is the Animal Welfare League of Australia a member of the ACAC?

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: READ MORE HERE

Who are the ACAC (Australian Companion Animal Council) and why will they object to the NSW Inquiry?

  • A very authorative sounding name!
  • A self proclaimed “peak body” ! From their website : we are …”the peak body representing pet ownership and the pet industry in Australia.” ( Note: they did originally say representing ‘companion animals ‘ but must have changed it after reading our letter where we asked about ‘unwanted companion animals’)
  • They write lots of glossy papers you can download, the content of which is probably quite good in itself, especially those on pet ownership and renting*
  • They bang on a lot about “responsible pet ownership”
  • They get their name into the media as a PR strategy to bolster their image

(..and yet around 250,000 unwanted cats and dogs die in our pounds and shelters each year.??) Continue reading