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


RSPCA Close Puppy Factories campaign

 If you’ve somehow missed this………..

“The RSPCA has launched the public education component of our campaign to address the puppy farm problem in Australia. A new website has been launched and can be found at 

The website aims to educate people about the issue and guide them read more here..

Can we believe anything that comes out of PIAA?

Open letter to PIAA

To Janine Yeates, Member Liaison Officer PIAA, June 12, 2010

We write in connection with your recent “press release” and to point out some things you really do need to be thinking about.

“The Pet Industry Association is deeply concerned with unethical practices from either breeders or retailers.  Its Members are required to meet a Code of Practice and we believe strongly they are best placed to ensure that satisfactory industry standards are controlled and maintained.”

Your comment above is an insult to the thousands of pound and shelter staff and volunteers and volunteer rescue workers across the country who work tirelessly 24/7 in efforts to save the lives of animals who’s only fault is that they were born into a system that is encouraged to a significant degree by the pet industry to produce more and more animals. You must know that the supply chain is badly skewed towards over supply.

Your comment: …. “industry statistics suggest that the problem is not nearly as widespread as welfare groups and animal liberation officers would have us believe”.. is equally an insult to the pound and shelter staff, volunteers and rescue workers around the country.

Your industry has known about this for a long time Continue reading

“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. read more here

Pet industry association (PIAA) tactics to ‘gain respectability’…

We know that the Pet Industry Association is desperate to increase their membership dollars from pet shops (note: only a relatively small proportion of pet shops across the country are members, and yet the government of NSW still takes “advice” from PIAA).

 We know that they have engaged the services of one of Australia’s top PR agencies to advance their cause and ‘fight” the publicity gained by Clover Moore’s proposed Animal regulation of Sale Bill.

 We know that PIAA have joined in a collaborative program with the well known magazine “Dogs Life” (does anyone know of a similar initiative with cats?).

 Dogs Life Magazine and PIAA have embarked upon an annual publicity competition to recognise and reward winners in a number of categories. There are a number of pet shop specific categories, but it also includes:

 “The Dogs Life Pet People’s Award for Best Local Pet Rescue Service/Animal Shelter” 

 We were staggered to see “animal rescue” as one of the categories of this competition!!! PIAA (who stimulate and support the marketing and push of huge numbers of puppies and kittens into the market via pet shops) recognising animal rescue groups (who have to sweat 24/7 to rescue from deathrows across the country).

 Is this for real?

 Sadly it is. And sadly, many uninformed readers of Dogs Life Magazine will unwittingly associate PIAA with animal rescue efforts.

We expect that all animal rescue groups would  be disgusted.

One well known Victorian Rescue group who were asked if they could be nominated replied publically:

“Rescued With Love nominated for award but says “no thanks”

Rescued With Love has been nominated for an award which is always an honor.  This time it is for The Dogs Life Pet People’s Award for Best Local Pet Rescue Service/Animal Shelter. 

While Rescued With Love is happy with the recognition we are receiving, the Award is with Dogs Life Magazine in conjunction with the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA). 

The PIAA represents Petshops throughout Australia and  they have been extremely vocal in their stance of protecting  the practice of selling puppies in petshops (they were the main opposition to Clover Moore’s Bill to cease the sale of animals in Petshops last year). 

These puppies are of course provided by puppy millers who keeps scores of dogs in cages to breed for their babies.  Rescued With Love is against all forms of puppy milling, backyard or indiscriminate breeding while hundreds of thousands of dogs die every year in our pounds and shelters. 

It would be hypocritical to accept this nomination on ethical grounds from the PIAA, and so we will not be taking up the offer. 

While we are not the biggest nor the most financial animal welfare group we certainly will stand up for what we believe Rescue should be about and that is the plight of companion animals at every level in society.” 

DRP Comment:

 We will take a guess at which Rescue organisation will win this year’s prize – we anticipate the same as last year, (….. the only Rescue group that is actively a PIAA member…….)

Actions you can take:

 Write to the Publishers of Dogs Life Magazine, expressing your dissatisfaction with the arrangement of Dogs Life supporting the puppy and kitten trade in this way.

Janice Williams, Associate Publisher, Universal Magazines

 Janice’s email address is, or you can post any letters to Locked Bag 154 North Ryde NSW 1670.

Designer pup going cheap…….

Email forwarded to us, Feb 11 2009

Subject: Very Cute Designer Dog Puppy Going Really Cheap, February 2009

Guys, apologies to everyone  for sending a general email like this, but it’s a matter of life and death.

 There’s a little guy called “Frankie” who’s at the Dee Why Pet Shop. My eldest daughter has puppy-sat him a couple of weekends.

And Frankie, who’s been in the pet shop for a couple of months is on his last legs – if he’s not sold this week he goes to the pound – and we all know what that’s likely to mean. Read more here….

DRP Comment: the pet shop industry are fond of telling us just how well they take care of their animals. So what exactly happens to the ones they can’t sell? What would you like to say to Frankie?

This is how dog breeders and pet shops are being duped….

DogsNSW and the ASAVA (Australian Small Animals Veterinary Association) have sided with PIAA (Pet Industry Association Australia) in saying no to the proposed Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill 2009. In November last year, a joint letter , Page 1 & Page 2 (PIAA, DogsNSW and ASAVA ) went out to every Minister in NSW.

It is clear that PIAA’s strategy is to scaremonger pet shops and dog breeders into believing that the proposed Bill is an artifact designed to remove the rights of people to own pets and to remove the rights from dog breeders. PIAA have publically, through Pet Industry News accused the proponents of the Bill as being puppets of PETA.

In turn, the President of DogsNSW, Frank Pieterse has issued a proclamation that the Bill is no more than a device to remove Breeders’ rights. We were told by one breeder:” they (PIAA) managed to convince the management of DogsNSW that it was only the beginning of a much grander plan – one to limit registered breeders as well.”

We have sent letters :

refuting these allegations and pointing out the obvious strategy of PIAA to undermine efforts to create meaningful change to the NSW pet industry. An industry that kills over 60,000 healthy cats and dogs a year in NSW Pounds. An industry of which all three of these associations are contributors. The situation is likely no different in other States of Australia.

Finally, here is a message sent to Breeders by ‘fix nsw animal policy’:

 “The President of DOGS NSW, has sent a letter to all members. This has claimed that the Animal (Regulation of Sale) bill aims to set up “Confinement, transport and Welfare” restrictions for Breeders. (PS, these standards already exist under POCTA and DPI acts)
DOGS NSW then went on to state that these could include:
• Breed Specific Laws, eg, ban breeding of Brachycephlic dogs, large dogs, small dogs, short legged dogs, dogs with loose skin, etc. (this is not mentioned in the bill at all)
• Limit the numbers of dogs that you can own or breed. (this is not mentioned in the bill at all)
• Restrictive conditions on breeding and ownership of dogs. (this is not mentioned in the bill at all)
• Restriction of Dog Shows. (this is not mentioned in the bill at all)
• Ongoing responsibility if you sell a dog that subsequently becomes ill. (this is not mentioned in the bill at all)
• Product liability for the life of a dog that you sell. (this is not mentioned in the bill at all)
• Phase out your rights to own, breed and show dogs. (this is not mentioned in the bill at all)

No-where in the Bill are any of these items listed. They made it up. Please read the bill and try to find them. Read more………

DRP: What do you think about these 3 organisations jointly approaching the government? What do you think about PIAA’s “this is the thin edge of the wedge” scaremongering ?