Thursday 9 July 2020
Animal Liberation, the world’s longest-running animal rights organisation, has added its support to Singleton Council’s new $1.4 million companion animal Impounding facility, currently in the construction phase.
“Like many other NSW council pounds, the Singleton Council pound has previously generated complaints from the public about inadequate housing for animals which led to poor animal welfare practices and outcomes”, said Lisa Ryan, Animal Liberation’s Regional Campaigns Coordinator.
“Currently in NSW several local government councils are planning or undertaking similar developments, and we are very pleased to see an overhaul of some clearly outdated and in some instances non-compliant pounds. The public pays for these essential services, and it is appropriate that public money is invested into compliant facilities which adhere to legislation and public expectations about the care and management of impounded animals”.
“It’s great Council has incorporated environmentally friendly design features into its pound plans to ensure minimal environmental harm and high functioning and practical operation. The greatest priority, however, must always be focused on the welfare and safety of the impounded animals, and life-saving ‘No Kill’ practices and procedures”.
“Aside from day to day best practice and meeting the welfare needs of the impounded animals, the real test of progressive animal sheltering is the success of the live animal outcomes. Any council can have a state of the art facility, but if they fall down with the necessary supporting policies, practices, and procedures, the impounded animals still suffer, and unacceptable and unnecessary high kill rates in NSW pounds and shelters will continue”.
“Singleton Council introduced a Companion Animals Management Plan in 2018 and during the last three year period, Council has continued to decrease its kill rate recording around 13-17% for dogs and 20-25% for cats after impounded animals were reclaimed by owners. Almost all the remaining animals, however, went to volunteer and self-funded rescue and rehoming organisations with no focus on direct adoptions from the pound.”
“Council’s 2018 plan covering animal welfare performance indicators don’t incorporate the suite of effective “No Kill” programs and the continual heavy reliance on volunteer rescue groups is not sustainable in the long term.”
“The relevant NSW Animal Welfare Code of Practice No 5 – Dogs and Cats in Animal Boarding Establishments is 24 years old and is totally inadequate in meeting the needs of impounded animals. Successive NSW Ministers have failed to progress the review and modernisation of this important animal welfare protection. Thousands of impounded animals, therefore, continue to suffer in abysmal NSW facilities where regular breaches occur, and public complaints are largely ignored by the NSW Office of Local Government.”
“I have witnessed as much animal suffering in pounds and shelters, as I have witnessed in puppy factories. Shelly Hancock, as the Minister for Local Government, and Adam Marshall, as the Minister for Animal Welfare, need to step up and urgently prioritise animal welfare in all NSW pounds and shelters with a statewide audit of all facilities and management practices.”