Last updated: 12 Sep, 2023
Published on: 6 Sep, 2023
Advocating for a better future for pets in NSW
- The NSW government established an Inquiry into the Rehoming of Companion Animals Amendment (Rehoming Animals) Bill (2022).
- In collaboration with AIAM, PetRescue participated in providing recommendations, including the perspectives of the rescue community as part of the submission.
- An opportunity to address the absence of reviewing and understanding the underlying causes of why pets end up in the system in the first place.
- Providing a wider net of insights and unique perspectives will help shape future legislation, which will ultimately lead to an outcome that can transform the pet management and rehoming space.
At PetRescue, we’re working towards a future where there’s a transformed animal welfare system that protects and cares for vulnerable pets and a recognised process of support, rehabilitation and care. We believe that progress toward better human and pet welfare outcomes can only be achieved through a collaborative approach.
Like much of Australia, New South Wales is facing significant challenges in the pet management and rehoming space.
We see the current challenges within the pet management sector in New South Wales as an opportunity to shift the entire sector towards a more effective, successful, and welfare-conscious future for both people and pets.
The NSW government established an Inquiry into local government animal management in June 2023 as part of an ongoing process that began with the passing of the Companion Animals Amendment (Rehoming Animals) Bill, which passed into law in early 2022.
The Office of Local Government commissioned a report into the Rehoming of Companion Animals in NSW, following concerns raised by local governments and others in the sector about the impacts of the Bill.
PetRescue does support the goals of the Companion Animals Amendment (Rehoming Animals) Bill 2022 in standardising the rehoming process, improving transparency, record-keeping for pets in care, and providing all pets who end up in the system with the opportunity for successful placement in a pet home. However, the Amendment failed to address the underlying causes of why pets end up in the system in the first place.
An evidence-based approach:
To stem the flow of pets into the system and improve animal welfare outcomes, we need a multi-faceted approach.
PetRescue’s submission suggests:
Proactive measures to support pet owners to keep pets in their existing safe homes - reducing the demand on the sector.
Advocating for societal changes that enable more owners to keep their pets, such as changes to rental laws and provision of broadscale free or very low-cost desexing and veterinary care services.
More effective, more financially sustainable, and more socially acceptable pathway to gaining reproductive control over community cat populations and stemming the flow of kittens and young adult cats into the system.
Direct rehoming programs where pets coming into the system is unavoidable.
PetRescue’s submission combines the findings of the Centre for International Economics (CIE) ‘Rehoming of Companion Animals in NSW’ draft report with data from our national pet adoption platform. Additionally, we've incorporated findings from our 2023 annual State of Pet Adoption report and references from industry and scientific sources to provide evidence-based recommendations for improved management of ‘at risk’ companion dogs and cats in New South Wales.
Collaboration for impact:
As part of the Inquiry, PetRescue member organisations were encouraged to provide their invaluable feedback about pet rehoming in NSW to the Committee via a questionnaire, which will help shape future legislation, particularly around the Companion Animals Amendment (Rehoming Animals) Bill 2022.
We're proud to have also collaborated closely with the Australian Institute of Animal Management (AIAM) on their submission.
The Centre for International Economics is a private economic research agency that provides professional, independent and timely analysis of international and domestic events and policies. The CIE’s professional staff arrange, undertake and publish commissioned economic research and analysis for industry, corporations, governments, international agencies and individuals.
Image: Stix, adopted thanks to Shoalhaven Animal Shelter