Dogs NSW are a member of the NSW Companion Animal Taskforce which recently made it’s final recommendations to the Ministers Page and Hodgkinson. Having made its recommendations, Dogs NSW has immediately set about calling its members to OPPOSE the very same recommendations that it made. This is the call to action letter that Dogs NSW president TOM COUCHMAN has sent out to members. READ MORE HERE
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
A comparison of dog kill statistics in Council Pounds between NSW and the UK overall
The purpose of this document is to create a comparison of statistics between NSW and the UK , as information for the NSW Companion Animal Taskforce public submission 2012
- 3.3 times more dogs enter NSW Council pounds per head of population than enter UK Council pounds
- Nearly 16 times more dogs per head of population, are killed by NSW Councils, than by UK Councils
- The kill rate in Council pounds as a percent of dogs coming in, is 4.6 times higher in NSW than in the UK
The sources of statistics used for this analysis are taken from the following publications (click to open):
- ACAC; Contribution of the Pet Care Industry to the Australian Economy 7th Ed 2010
- NSW Companion Animal Taskforce; Discussion Paper, May 2011
- Dogs Trust UK; Stray Dog Survey 2011
- Dog News UK; Domestic Dog Population Is Larger Than Originally Thought, 2011
- Wikipedia, for human population statistics
Household cat/dog populations
- UK: 10.3 million cats and 10.5 million dogs (2006)
Dogs 31% of households; Cats 26% of households (2007)
- Australia: 3.41 million dogs and 2.35 million cats (2009)
Dogs 36% of households; Cats 23% of households
Human populations comparing NSW and total UK:
- NSW population 7,238,819
- UK population 62,218,761
- Aus population 22,238, 800
Based on the figures above:
Cats and dogs per head of population
UK 2.99 people per cat/dog
Australia 3.7 people per cat/dog
Now, lets look at some comparisons between NSW and UK stats
Dogs handled by Councils
Dogs handled by UK Councils (10-11) 126, 176 = 493 people per dog ( dogs handled by council relative to population)
Dogs handled by NSW Councils (10-11) 48,523 = 149 people per dog ( dogs handled by council relative to population)
Ie nearly 3 times more dogs enter NSW Pounds per head of population than the UK
Dogs killed by Councils
Dogs pts UK Councils 7121 = 8,737 people per dog killed
Dogs pts NSW Councils 13,707 (Taskforce Paper) = 528 people per dog killed
Ie 16.5 times more dogs per head of population, are killed by NSW Councils, than by UK Councils
Council kill rates (dogs killed as a percent of dogs entering Pounds)
UK Council kill rate = 7121 / 126, 176 = 6%
NSW Council kill rate = 13,707 / 48,523 = 28%
Ie the kill rate in Council pounds as a percent of dogs coming in is 4.6 times higher in NSW than in the UK
We have a serious problem in NSW, when compared to the UK. We urge the NSW government to take immediate action on recommendations made by the NSW Companion Animal Taskforce when they are published.
Note: some people might argue that a comparison between a single Australian State and the total UK is an unfair comparison. Certainly, there are Regions of the UK where statistics are worse than the national average. However, we feel that this analysis represents a picture demonstrating that NSW must take seriously efforts to reduce dogs entering pounds and significantly increasing dogs leaving pounds safely. Whilst similar figures are less readily available for cats in the uk, let’s not forget our feline friends in NSW.
Note: Deathrowpets have taken statistics from other organisation publications quoted and cannot warrant accuracy of those figures
10 strategies for change at your local Council pound – an action list you can use.
If you are a volunteer worker or rescue volunteer at a Council Pound and are concerned about circumstances there, here are some practical things you can do. read more here..
Personal communication from Mark Townend, CEO RSPCA Qlnd. May 2010
“I have mentioned this before but the main reason for euthanasia of dogs is behaviour – especially in regard to those that are not trained and socialised early in life.
At our new facility at Wacol, we will have the opportunity to ramp up in Qld the areas of Animal Training and Behaviour. As from July this year, with a new budget in place we will be launching a new Behaviour Helpline Service in Qld.
Generally, my aim is to instigate a RSPCA nationally accredited animal training service that would be reasonably sustainable and implemented right across the country. read more here..
Press release: The formation of the COMPANION ANIMAL ACTION GROUP WESTERN AUSTRALIA (CAAGWA); Mon, 19 Apr 2010
“Dear fellow Companion Animal Carers
We are writing to you out of our deep concern for the growing crisis of unwanted pets in Western Australia. We are a nation of cat and dog lovers and yet we have a national annual figure of 250,000 euthanized pets. Clearly this is unacceptable and we would like to take action to address this appalling statistic.
Like you, we are witness to the trauma of discarded animals being passed from pound to rescue facility and many not even given this opportunity due to insufficient capacity and under-resourcing of pounds and shelters. Rescued dogs and cats spend varying lengths of time incarcerated through no fault of their own. The lucky ones find loving forever homes but so many, don’t. Rescue facilities do their best to care for these animals and in most cases, are reliant on public support – not only for funding, but for care of the animals. We would like to assist these facilities as part of our addressing the root causes of the problem of unwanted pets.
The COMPANION ANIMAL ACTION GROUP WESTERN AUSTRALIA (CAAGWA) is the name we have chosen to undertake coverage of the multitude of issues we would like to address over a period of time. Our immediate aim is to form a Committee of compassionate carers representing a variety of organisations throughout Western Australia. read more here
We’ve just completed a summary of all the available pound and shelter statistics for NSW. As predicted by rescue groups, the number of animals entering pounds has increased yet again, from 118,558 in the previous year, to 126,004. Total animals killed was up from 56,531 to 63,651…..and that figure doesn’t include the greyhound population, so you can add a few thousand more to that figure. Download the summary figures here…..
It beggars belief that DPI Minister Ian MacDonald has this to say “A great deal of progress has been made recently on the issue of welfare of animals in pet shops and the government is ensuring that there will be ongoing improvements in pet breeding activities. Consequently the NSW Government does not support an inquiry into the pet industry” (Read more here…)
CEO Kristina Vesk of the Cat Protection Society says this:
“We knew it was a disaster but looking at the numbers, the scale is just enormous.
We can’t measure how many cats were ‘dumped’ but we imagine it was considerable seeing the enormous increase in cats taken to pounds and shelters. And I hate to say it, but we think that there are people who kill kittens and cats ‘at home’ (ie not taking them to the vet to be euthanased but doing things like drowning litters of kittens).
The outcome for cats is always worse than for dogs.
From the figures, this means 39% of dogs entering pounds are euthanased versus 68% of cats. It is interesting too, that more cats are taken to RSPCA, AWL & CPS than pounds – I am not surprised. Councils seem to feel obliged to ‘deal’ with dogs (fearing the reaction around dangerous dogs etc) but often tell people that they ‘can’t do anything’ about cats.
This means that they push the ‘cat problem’, and the cost of dealing with it, onto charities. Reasons people gave for bringing cats to us and not their pound included being directed to do so by their council (rather than even telling people what their local pound was) or the pound insisting on payment of a fee that people either could not or would not pay.
Hence we have ended up with a record number of cats that there simply weren’t homes or room for. And we ended up deficit funding just trying to manage the situation. As I said, no more. We can’t afford to act as a de facto pound for all of Sydney’s poor homeless cats. At the end of the day though, the outcome for the cats is the same. Too many cats + not enough homes = a death sentence.
We have written to the Minister for Local Government pointing out that councils are contributing to feline overpopulation by releasing undesexed kittens from pounds (7 of 14 we surveyed do this). They include the cost of desexing in the price, but rely on people to go back some time later to the facility or a vet to have the cat desexed (typically advising this be done at 5-6 months). Too late! Those kittens can already have kittens of their own (and typically do). Early age desexing has been safely practised for more than 20 years – what are these pounds doing?
Kristina Vesk, CEO, Cat Protection Society NSW