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August 5th 2008
Council in trial to reduce number of unwanted cats and dogs

Townsville City Council will be one of four councils participating in a new trial program to support State Government efforts to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs being killed each year.

The two year trial will allow councils to try a number of methods to curb the increasing number of cats and dogs being dumped at animal collection centres around the State.

Local Government Warren Pitt said outside of the Northern Territory, Queensland was the only jurisdiction to not have mandatory registration and identification of cats and dogs in place.

"This has created a situation where thousands of cats and dogs are being destroyed each year. As a Government, we have to help our councils and other stakeholders to address this serious issue," Mr Pitt said.

"It's not just unwanted adult cats and dogs that are being put to death. It's kittens and puppies as well - all because we don't have the necessary laws and practices in place to impose a degree of responsible pet ownership.

"It's needless and senseless, and we have got to do more to put a stop to it."

The Councils participating in the trial program are Gold Coast City Council, Logan City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Townsville City Council.

Mr Pitt said the councils were to be commended for their involvement in the trial, as well as others who had also offered to take part.

"In addition to trialling different methods of encouraging identification and de-sexing, they will also collect baseline data to monitor the numbers of levels of animals being euthanased.

"The Government will support these councils in trialling these new programs and has committed $380,000 to help councils do so."

Townsville City Council is also urging pet owners to use an innovative pet rescue program in a bid to reunite more lost dogs with their masters.

The Council posts photos of lost dogs picked up with no registration or identification tags on the public website to make it easier for owners to locate their missing pets.

Photos of up to 50 dogs with no ID are posted on the Council's website each month.

Pictures of current unidentified dogs found across the city can be viewed on the Townsville City Council's website:, and further information about the program is available from the Customer Service Centre on 4727 9000.

Mr Pitt said a new code of practice for pet shops was being developed, and would be released shortly.

"The code of practice will not only inform the development of legislation for the sale of animals, but it also will help reaffirm the commitment of the industry to animal welfare issues."

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Council in trial to reduce number of unwanted cats and dogs
Marg Sewell
August 6th 2008
I have been asking for years why councils and vets don't unite to have free desexing for animals once a month. The cost of desexing is pretty expensive and I think a free day a month would help with unwanted breeding and would also be a good education opportunity for pet owners. What do others think?
August 9th 2008
Sorry Marg, but I am going to have to disagree wtih your suggestion about the free desexing day as an educational opportunity for pet owners. I would think it more useful to educate people in budgeting, ie. if you can't afford to have your pet desexed, then you cannot afford a pet. Full stop. Vet clinics are not charities. They are privately owned businesses who have costs, overheads, wages, etc, etc, just like every other business. Just because they deal with animals people assume they are frequently criticised for not offering their services for free. To expect them to do that would be to expect an accountant or a lawyer to have a free day once a month for people who cannot ordinarily afford such a service.

My family and I are huge animal lovers, we have 2 dogs and one cat and all of them are desexed, microchipped and extremely well cared for. We also budget properly so that we can have them vaccinated every year, as well as ensuring we get them any emergency treatment when required (such as when someone else's cat entered our yard over a 6 foot fence and attacked our cat on our verandah causing about $300 worth of injuries). Yes it means we have to forego some treats/luxuries for ourselves, because we are not exactly rolling in cash, but we make do.

Pet owners should consider all possible costs before they "invest" in a cute fuzzy pet. We all make choices. Not all of us think them through first.

I fully support the Council's initiative to promote and encourage desexing, but I do not believe that tax and rate payers should actually be funding the procedures.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

Readers comments
Syl Hayes In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
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