De-sex pound pets: CSU academics

29 JUNE 2012

Animal behaviour and welfare experts from CSU are calling for greater education for pet owners and the mandatory de-sexing of animals sold through a pound or shelter in NSW.

Animal behaviour and welfare experts from Charles Sturt University (CSU) are calling for greater education for pet owners and the mandatory de-sexing of animals sold through a pound or shelter in NSW.
 
Academics from CSU’s School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in Wagga Wagga and the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science, have raised these issues in a joint submission to the NSW Companion Animals Taskforce.
 
The Taskforce reports to the NSW government and has released a discussion paper about how to reduce the rates of euthanasia for cats and dogs; legislation for the breeding, sale and management of pets; and strategies to promote responsible pet ownership.
 
While agreeing with many of the suggestions made by the Taskforce, the joint submission recommends a tougher policy on the de-sexing of animals.
 
“It is well known that a relatively high percentage of pet animals end up as abandoned and this would be an obvious way to attempt to control the number of animals reproducing,” said CSU lecturer in veterinary practice Dr Sarah Pollard Williams.
 
“There is also an urgent need to support and expand the continuing education of animal owners, those involved in the industry and the veterinary profession,” she said. “More research on how best to control stray cat populations should be considered a priority.”
 
Dr Pollard Williams said rural communities also face challenges that are not as problematic in urban areas.
 
“Rural areas often have no access to reduced fee de-sexing that may be offered by charity vet hospitals in urban areas. This often leaves councils and vets to deal with unwanted pets, often by euthanasia.
 
“It is also important to realise that working dogs are distinct from companion animals, though they sometimes serve this function,” she said. “It was useful for us to reinforce these concerns in our submission.”
 
After considering feedback on its discussion paper, the NSW Companion Animals Taskforce will prepare a final report for consideration by the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Primary Industries.

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