New rules for temporary housing of companion animals

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New animal welfare requirements for the management of companion animals in temporary housing facilities will come into effect from 1 October 2018.

The new Code of Welfare for Temporary Housing of Companion Animals was developed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) and has been issued by the Minister of Agriculture.

NAWAC chairperson, Dr Gwyneth Verkerk, says the new code sets out minimum standards and best practice guidelines for animals in temporary housing facilities.

"This is the first code that explicitly outlines what is required from facilities that provide temporary housing for companion animals," Dr Verkerk says.

"The code applies to companion cats and dogs, as well as companion animals that are not covered by an existing species-specific code of welfare, such as guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, rats, fish, and turtles."

Minimum standards and recommendations for best practice in the code include the provision of food and water, temperature and lighting, air and water quality, behaviour, health and disease, and sale or rehoming.

Dr Verkerk says the code applies to animals in temporary housing facilities such as boarding facilities and kennels, pet shops, animal welfare centres and pounds, animal day-care centres, grooming establishments, and quarantine or isolation facilities.

"The aim of the code is to encourage all those responsible for the welfare of these animals to adopt the highest standards of husbandry, care and handling. It is expected that the code will be used as a guide for best practice."

The code will give assurance to pet owners that the physical, health and behavioural needs of their animals are met and any pain and distress are alleviated while in temporary housing facilities.

(Note: This media release was issued by NAWAC.)

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