The Andrews Labor Government will work with the community to improve the health and happiness of our pets, with the launch of a new welfare campaign that will inform and educate pet owners.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford today joined locals and their pets at All Nations Park in Northcote to launch the ‘Better for Pets’ campaign.
The Labor Government is giving every tenant the right to own a pet as part of its sweeping reforms to make renting fair and not force people to choose between the pet they love and a place to live.
The campaign will promote better care for all Victorian pets by helping owners understand their pets’ welfare needs – including diet, environment, behaviour and social needs.
The campaign is based on the results of LaTrobe University research on how well owners understood the welfare needs of their pets. They found some pets in Victoria aren’t getting the care they need to stay happy and healthy.
In addition to building on prior learnings on welfare for pet dogs, cats, rabbits and birds, the research examined welfare for pet guinea pigs, reptiles, rodents, ferrets and frogs for the first time in Victoria.
The campaign will include fact sheets, posters, information kits, free publications and online information aimed at supporting vets, pet stores, local councils and schools, to promote caring for pets.
The Labor Government is also helping educate children how to responsibly interact with and care for pets through the Responsible Pet Ownership program. Last financial year, 135,639 students across 3,132 preschools and primary schools were taught how to care for their pets and approach a dog safely.
The Labor Government is serious about animal welfare. That’s why it recently established Animal Welfare Victoria – a dedicated public organisation that brings together domestic animal and animal welfare research, policy, education and compliance.
The Labor Government will also review the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in close consultation with key stakeholders and the Victorian community, and replace it with a modern animal welfare act in 2019.
The Labor Government will also continue its crackdown on cruel puppy farms through the $5 million Special Investigations Unit with the RSPCA, and work with animal organisations on legislative change. Pet owners can also find more information on the care of all companion animals by visiting vic.gov.au/pets.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Understanding the needs and behaviours of pets is the responsibility of every owner in Victoria – regardless of the type of pet or breed, it is free and easy to learn more about them.”
“Our rental reforms it easier for tenants across Victoria to live with their pets, because our pets deserve a loving home. ”
“Animal welfare matters to all Victorians. Whether it’s a beloved pet, livestock or a wild animal – we all have a role to play in ensuring the welfare of animals.”