Australians own around 33 million pets and the companion animal sector is worth $6 billion. This highlights the enormous task the Companion Animals Working Group has for advocating animal welfare in this important community sector that covers animals in pet shops, horses in riding centre’s, breeding cats and dogs, security dogs, animals used in the film industry and animal transporting and boarding establishments.
During phase 1 of the AAWS, this working group progressed a national standard for non-production animals with the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) decision-making process.
Work was undertaken to benchmark the companion animal sector. This identified the need to have an animal population management system that provides information on euthanasia rates and where pets are sourced from. It also revealed a need to continue to improve pet wellbeing, conduct more animal welfare research and develop consistent standards nationwide.
The priority in phase 2 will be to progress the development, consultation and endorsement of national standards for cats and dogs.