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Pet Industry News believes the answer to this problem is an independent database available free to the businesses looking for products.

This is now available at

The directory is part of the Petnews Australia group who has been a leader in the promotion of the pet industry in Australia and overseas for 27 years.

The on-line entry will include all your contact details, your logo and a full description of your company and the products that you sell.  It will also display the logos of the agencies that you distribute. Each of these logos will be linked to a dedicated page describing the product.

Inclusion in this database also allows overseas companies who are looking to have their products distributed, make contact with the companies that they feel would be suitable.

If you are not already listed you can join. The cost to be included on this on-line database is $55.00 per year.

Going to AusPet 2017 this week? call in on Stand 55 for a chat about how you can be listed.

Mixed reaction to proposed rental changes

Landlords might sell up if proposed changes to tenancy laws make it easier for renters to own pets, a Warrnambool real estate agent says.

The Victorian state government is pushing a raft of changes to improve tenancy rights as the proportion of people renting grows.

Brian O'Halloran and Co Real Estate director Brian Hancock said making it more difficult for landlords to refuse pets could be problematic.

“A high percentage of people with dogs are responsible people but there is always that element of people that are not so respectful,” he said.

Mr Hancock said the majority of changes were not far from current regulations, but the pet ownership issue would be contentious.

RSPCA Victoria chief executive officer Liz Walker said the move could significantly reduce the number of pets surrendered to shelters.

Barwon South West Homelessness Network regional coordinator Andrew Edgar welcomed the proposed changes, saying increasing the rights of renters would have a positive impact on those struggling.

“The solution to homelessness is not one strategy or another, it’s a combination of a lot of things,” he said.

“But certainly making renting a more secure experience is a good thing.”

The proportion of residents renting in Warrnambool has grown by four per cent since the 2001 census.

The 2016 census showed 3878 people or 30.7 per cent were renting in Warrnambool, above the state average of 28.7 per cent.

Source: Sian Johnson The Standard

New Web directory entry
Nature's Best

Nature's Best are an Importer and Manufacturer of premium pet supplies, foods and accessories. They distribute a number of quality brands including:

- Peckish Bird/Poultry/Small Animal foods - Scruffs Bedding and clothing - The Company of Animals training and tethering products (Halti) - Hartz Grooming, Dental, Clean up & Toys - Penn Plax - Playmate - Feline First- R2P Toys

Pets linked to better management of mental health disorders
The positive effects that pets have on people have been well-researched.

Recent research from the University of Manchester1 now suggests that pets can help people who are living with a mental illness to manage their condition.

President of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), Dr Paula Parker says: “we’ve known for some time that the human-animal bond plays an important and positive role in the health and wellbeing of the community.”

“Benefits can include companionship, health and social improvements and assistance for people with special needs.

“This new research takes our knowledge about the human-animal bond a step further suggesting that pets can help people who are struggling with a serious mental illness to manage their mental health.

“Only through more research like this, can we come to better understand just how increasingly valuable animals are to an individual’s wellbeing and the community,” she said.

The study involved 54 participants with a severe mental illness, for example, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Twenty-five of the participants identified a pet as being important in the everyday management of their illness. What’s more, of these 25 participants, more than half identified their pet as being one of the most important things to them in managing their mental health.

“There’s already strong evidence to indicate that owning a pet brings health benefits including physical health benefits, for example, dog owners increase their exercise by walking their pet.

“Research also suggests that pets have positive effects on the community. A study2 conducted by the University of Western Australia found that pets facilitate first meetings and conversations between neighbours, with over 60 per cent of dog owners reporting that they got to know their neighbours through their pets
“While pets can improve our health and wellbeing, it’s important to remember that the human-animal bond is a two-way street and we need to provide the same benefits to our pets by ensuring we properly care for their health and welfare,” she said.

1.            Brooks H, Rushton K, Walker S et al. Ontological security and connectivity provided by pets: a study in the self-management of the everyday lives of people diagnosed with a long-term mental health condition. BMC Psychiatry 2016;16:409. DOI: 10.1186/s12888-016-1111-3.
2.            Wood L, Martin K, Christian H et al. Social capital and pet ownership: a tale of four cities. SSM Population Health 2017;3:442–447.
Washing is a winner, hands down

On this Global Handwashing Day (15 October), the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is urging animal owners and handlers to ensure they maintain good disease prevention and infection control, which starts with the simple act of handwashing.
AVA President Dr Paula Parker says that handwashing before and after handling an animal is a highly important measure in preventing the spread of infection and disease from animals to humans, and vice versa.

“It’s important that pet owners, farmers, producers and anyone who handles animals practises good personal biosecurity, and washing your hands before and after handling an animal is an essential part of that,” Dr Parker said.

In Australia, the relationship between owners and their pets has become more personal and dogs and cats are increasingly being viewed as part of the family. Increasing urbanisation also means that pets are spending more time inside with their owners.

“While this is certainly a positive trend in pet ownership, sharing an environment means that bacteria are transferring freely between pets and owners, which increases the risk of the spread of infection and zoonotic diseases.

“Handwashing before and after handling a pet is a simple thing that pet owners can do to reduce the risk of infection and disease from spreading,” Dr Parker said.

On the farm, handwashing is considered an important biosecurity measure and good hand hygiene should be practised by producers and farmers.

Dr Parker says that hand hygiene is important in any situation where people might have contact with an animal.

“Wherever animals are present, such as petting zoos, aged care facilities and hospitals with visiting dogs, and any other environments that allow close contact with animals should encourage good hand hygiene and have appropriate handwashing facilities available.

“Handwashing can’t be underestimated in the role it plays in protecting public health,” she said.

Positive news in negative White Spot test results

  • There has been no positive test results for White Spot disease in the last six months from samples tested in Queensland and New South Wales
  • More than 25 thousand samples of wild prawns and crabs have been tested
  • Latest testing in the Brisbane and Logan Rivers and Moreton Bay area returned further negative results
  • Proves the effectiveness of biosecurity measures implemented by the Australian Government, in collaboration with state governments
Australia’s fight against White Spot disease reached a significant milestone recently with no positive test results returned for the last six months, from samples of farmed and wild prawns and crabs in Queensland and New South Wales.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said it demonstrated the effectiveness of the Coalition Government’s decisive response.
“More than 25 thousand samples of farmed and wild prawns and crabs have been tested in Queensland and New South Wales and it has now been six months since we last had a sample test positive,” Minister Joyce said.
“The latest tests conducted by the Queensland Government in the Brisbane and Logan Rivers as well as in the Moreton Bay areas also returned negative results.
“We understand that there is still a long way to go in rebuilding the prawn farming industry in the Logan River and confirming the disease has been eradicated from our waters, but this is a positive milestone that shows we are on our way.
“These results show that the current surveillance and management activities, as well as the enhanced import conditions that were put in place, are helping us effectively manage it and we remain committed to getting rid of this destructive disease.
“It is good news for our $3 billion dollar fisheries and aquaculture industries and our marine environment, but also reflects the strength of Australia’s biosecurity system in helping us respond to significant biosecurity risks.
“The Coalition Government also recently finalised contracts with payments commencing to provide $20 million in financial assistance for six prawn farms in the Logan River area.”
The assistance package will help reimburse costs for prawn farmers in the initial response to the White Spot disease outbreak, including recognition of the stock destroyed, as well as the costs of their farms being out of action for a season as part of the agreed eradication response plan.
“The Coalition Government remains committed to working with industry and the states to eradicate this outbreak and support a bright future for Australia’s valuable and important prawn industry,” Minister Joyce said.
“I know that there are other businesses affected by this outbreak and call on the Queensland Government to consider how it can better support commercial fishers and businesses impacted by its Movement Control Order.”
The department is also undertaking a review of the biosecurity risks of, and import conditions for, prawns and prawn products for human consumption. The review will include a comprehensive scientific analysis of the biosecurity risks associated with prawn imports from all trading partners and is expected to take up to two years.
The current enhanced import conditions will likely remain in place until the department's review is completed.
Fast facts
  • White spot disease is a highly contagious disease for prawns and other crustaceans, but poses no risk to humans.​
  • The $20 million prawn farmers' assistance package funding is consistent with existing emergency response arrangements for biosecurity threats (including the proposed Aquatic Deed, the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement and the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed).
  • As part of the funding, up to $4 million will be repaid by prawn farmers through an industry wide levy, to be applied once affected farmers are back on their feet.
  • Australia's prawn industry (farmed and wild-catch) produces approximately 25,059 tonnes per year, with an estimated value of $358 million.

Vets must ‘dare to speak out’

Urgent action on brachycephalic dogs called for during panel discussion at FECAVA/WSAVA/DSAVA Congress in Copenhagen


The rise in the popularity of so-called brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds, including pugs and French bulldogs, is linked to concerning trends for dog health and welfare, according to the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA), the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the Danish Small Animal Veterinary Association (DSAVA/FHKS).


Experts from around the world discussed the issues facing these breeds and the implications for veterinarians during a panel session following a lecture stream dedicated to hereditary disease and the importance of responsible breeding on Tuesday 26 September during FECAVA-WSAVA Congress in Copenhagen. More than 200 delegates attended, including Danish TV celebrity, Sebastian KIein, well known for his interest in animal welfare issues. At the end of the session, panel members issued a number of recommendations to help veterinarians to take steps to improve the health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs (see below).


During discussions, panel members were questioned on strategies to help address the problem in particular countries. Panellist Helle Friis Proschowsky explained that The Nordic Kennel Union had issued recommendations and breed-specific guidelines for judges but acknowledged that the majority of brachycephalic dogs in all countries were unlikely to be registered with a kennel club. Panellist Peter Sandøe confirmed that only 15% of French bulldogs in Denmark were registered, the majority coming from unregistered breeders.  “The education of owners remains the most important priority,” commented Helle Friis Proschowsky.


‘Dare to speak out’

Soft tissue surgeon and panellist Laurent Findji said he had seen the explosion in the popularity of French bulldogs at first hand because of the number he was now operating on. FECAVA Vice President Wolfgang Dohne called on vets to help brachycephalic dogs but to advise owners to neuter their animals if they have conformation-altering disorders. Panellist Gudrun Ravetz, Senior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association said that, in the UK, owners and breeders now consent to having conformation-altering surgery reported: “However, while a recent BVA survey showed that 67% of vets say they see breed-related problems, few submit conformation-altering data to the Kennel Club though this would support the development of evidence-based solutions.” She added: “As veterinarians we must educate ourselves.”


“Vets should dare to speak out,” commented panellist Kristin Wear Prestrud. “We must educate owners on all health and welfare matters, whether we are simply advising them that their dog is overweight or if we need to give advice on breeding or refuse planned Caesarean sections.”


Urge advertisers to stop using images of flat-faced dogs

Toril Moseng, President of the Norwegian Veterinary Association, highlighted initiatives carried out in Norway, including an awareness-raising petition signed by 1,700 veterinarians; a press release urging advertisers not to use brachycephalic breeds in campaigns and a hand-out produced for brachycephalic breed owners, letting them know ‘what to expect.’ Similar work has been done by the British Veterinary Association explained Gudrun Ravetz. “We contacted advertisers and many apologised saying that they were simply unaware of the problems.”


Commenting on the session, DSAVA President Anne Sørensen said: “The fact that so many participated so actively in the discussion shows the seriousness with which veterinarians view this issue. There is no easy answer but by working together and sharing experiences and successes, we will start to change the minds of pet owners who think that these animals are cute when many of them are, in fact, born into a life of suffering. We thank all those who joined us to highlight this important issue and especially Sebastian Klein. His attendance has helped us to highlight the issue to the dog-owning public in Denmark.”


Education and raising awareness

FECAVA President Jerzy Gawor commented: “As veterinarians, we put the best interests of our patients first. For affected animals – including flat-faced dogs but also cats and rabbits - this may involve performing surgical procedures to correct or overcome conformational disorders, such as enlarging the nostrils, shortening the soft palate, correcting the bite or performing Caesarean sections. We are concerned that these procedures – which should be exceptional – are becoming the norm in many brachycephalic breeds.”


WSAVA President Walt Ingwersen added: “Our members see the results of extreme brachycephalic confirmation in practice on a regular basis and it is one of our top animal welfare concerns. The discussion panel helped to highlight the complex issues raised by the popularity of these breeds and to explore potential solutions. A reduction in the health problems faced by these breeds will be most effectively achieved through the education of veterinary professionals, breeders and owners and through leadership and consensus-building between stakeholders.”


Vets should ‘show leadership’

All three associations committed to develop and contribute to initiatives that aim to address the health and welfare of these animals. Panellist Professor Åke Hedhammar, member of the WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee and scientific advisor to the Swedish Kennel Club, stressed: “We will continue to work with all stakeholders who can positively influence and improve the health and welfare of brachycephalic breeds. Extreme phenotypes should be avoided and, in the show ring, moderation of such phenotypes should be rewarded. Animals showing extremes of conformation that negatively impact their health and welfare should not be used for breeding.”


FECAVA past president Monique Megens, who chaired the discussion, concluded: “As advocates of and experts in animal health and welfare, veterinarians should speak up and show leadership in taking action against the breeding of dog with excessive traits leading to health and welfare problems. The great attendance at the panel discussion shows the willingness of the profession to do so. We hope that the recommendations prepared by our panellists will be adopted by veterinarians and by veterinary associations all over the world, leading to a future with healthy and happy dogs.”

Seniors and Pets: Health Benefits and Challenges

A buddy to share a morsel of food with, a walking companion, a mischievous friend and a profound comfort. Older adults reap great benefit from caring for dogs, cats or other household animals. Pets may provide a talisman against loneliness, isolation and inactivity. Study after study show the good pets can do.

What happens, however, when a beloved pet becomes chronically ill or disabled? Below, experts share their insights on the health connection between seniors and beloved pets.

Walking and Well-Being

"Let's take a walk!" For most dogs, pulling out a leash is a sure way to set their tails wagging. For many seniors, having a dog is great motivation to get moving. And the biggest health boost comes to dog-walking owners who have the strongest bonds with their pets, according to a study in the October issue of the journal The Gerontologist.

Positive effects tied to active pet ownership included lower body mass index, fewer reported doctor visits and less sedentary time, according to findings in The Gerontologist that were based on seniors with an average age of 67 who participated in the larger Health and Retirement Study in 2012. In this new analysis, 271 participants owned one or more dogs, while 500 did not.

Dog owners who walked their dogs showed the best health results. Non-dog owners landed somewhere in the middle. Surprisingly, the worst off were senior dog owners who did not walk their dogs. This last group reported less physical activity, more mobility limitations, more doctor visits and more chronic conditions than others in the study.

Regular sniff-and-explore walks could indicate better bonding with pets than a dogged focus on distance. Participants who dog-walked farther in a shorter time were less likely to be bonded with their pets than those who covered less ground at a more leisurely pace.

"Part of the bonding variable includes talking with others about your dog," says study author Angela Curl, an assistant professor with the department of family science and social work at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. "Perhaps people who are highly bonded are stopping to talk to others – pet owners and non-pet owners – and don't walk so far."

More attached owners could be better attuned to their dog's health concerns, Curl says. As for the health of dog owners, people in the study with fewer chronic conditions were more likely to walk their dogs and do so more days of the week.

If you're thinking about getting a dog as a walking companion, take both of your energy levels into account, Curl suggests. "You have to make sure you have a good match with a pet," she says. "A dog who hates dog-walking is not a good health benefit. Some dogs don't [like walks]. If you have to drag your dog, that's not a motivator."

On the other end of the spectrum, with a super-strong German shepherd or boxer who walks you, outings could feel more like a struggle than a pleasure. If your balance is shaky, risk of falling is another consideration.

At any age, having a pet takes some planning. As an owner, think about finding a backup for pet care in case of sudden illness, Curl suggests. "My grandmother went into the hospital once and she didn't call us to say she was in an accident," she recalls. "She called to tell us the dog needed to be taken care of."

Sickness and Strain

As people age, their pets age right along with them – on a sharper, uneven curve. The familiar formula that dogs age at a rate of seven human years for each "dog year" isn't accurate, according to the senior pet page on the American Veterinary Medical Association website.

A 7-year-old dog compares to a human of 44 to 56 years, according to the AVMA. But three years later, that 10-year-old dog could compare in health anywhere from a 56- to a 78-year-old human. As for felines, 15 cat years translates to 78 human years, health-wise.

Older pets are vulnerable to arthritis. Their sight and hearing often fade. For owners who may themselves be frail, it's hard to cope with a heavy Labrador who's suffering from hip dysplasia. Aging pets can develop cancer or heart, kidney or liver disease. The reality is most pet owners will eventually see their animals through sickness and disability. That can take a heavy emotional toll.

Source Lisa Esposito, Staff Writer US News

Snakes are springing – protect your animals from deadly encounters

This time of year, marks the beginning of a rise in snake bites in animals as the warmer weather and dryer conditions put an end to their winter hibernation.

As the weather continues to warm up, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is encouraging animal owners to take precautions to help minimise the risk of snake bites and seek immediate veterinary advice if they suspect their animal has has been bitten by a snake.

AVA President, Dr Paula Parker, said that snakes tend to be their most active at the end of the day.
“Snake bites often occur in the late afternoon or early evening, however it’s important for people to be vigilant throughout the day,” she said.

Dr Parker said that snakes found in backyards are usually looking for mice or rats to eat.

“Rats and mice can often be found in untidy sheds, or where’s there’s a good supply of wood piles and rubbish. So, it’s a good idea to maintain a tidy garden and shed, ensuring that wood piles are neatly stacked and discarding lawn clippings and mulch rather than keeping it in a pile.

“Outside, keep a close eye out for snakes in bushy areas or near water. It’s best to try and keep horses, cattle and sheep away from bushy areas. Dog owners should try and avoid these areas when walking their pets at the end of the day and preferably keep them on the lead.

“If you keep your rabbits and guinea pigs in a hutch outside, then you will need to make sure you can keep snakes out of the hutch. Identify and cover all openings which are larger than one centimetre as some snakes have the ability to squeeze through small openings,” she said.

The AVA says it’s important for animal owners to be aware of the signs of a snake bite as owners may not actually see their animal being bitten. Signs of snake bite can vary depending on the snake and the location in Australia. Common signs of a snake bite include:

•             Sudden weakness followed by collapse
•             Unexplained bleeding or swelling
•             Reluctance or inability to walk
•             Breathing problems.

Bites from some snakes will cause an animal to collapse, and then seem to recover. This can give false confidence that the animal is okay, but what is really happening is the snake toxins are spreading through the system and wreaking havoc. Within a few hours, other signs start to develop.

“If you think your animal has been bitten, keep your pet calm and contact your vet immediately. The chances of recovery are much greater if treatment is delivered early,” Dr Parker said.

Researchers seek to use the koi herpesvirus for statewide bio-control of the unwanted fish, USA to follow Australia’s experiment.

University of Minnesota researchers see a recent fish virus outbreak as a chance to combat an invasive species plaguing state lakes.

Researchers at the University’s Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) in St. Paul have been studying the usage of Koi herpesvirus (KHV) — responsible for recent carp deaths in Minnesota lakes — for potential bio-control of invasive carp. Koi fish are a subspecies of common carp, making them both susceptible to the virus. “We want to find ways to kill carp and zebra mussels and all these invasive species,” said MAISRC Director Nick Phelps. “We started this particular project in 2014 — went two years and didn’t see [the virus] anywhere, then saw it in seven to eight lakes in a matter of a month and a half.”

MAISRC first confirmed a naturally-occurring case of KHV in Elysian Lake in early August. Researchers confirmed cases in several more lakes on Friday. “We initially ran a lot of tests and they all came back negative,” said Meg Thompson, a first-year Ph.D. student at MAISRC. “And then we finally got a positive result. All the sudden there was an explosion of the virus around the country. It’s exciting to be at the forefront of this.”

Isaiah Tolo, another first-year Ph.D. student, has taken on an active role in the project, conducting many of the dissections and driving to Minnesota lakes where KHV may be present. “Carp have been here for more than 180 years, and they often wreck lake environments,” Tolo said. “It’s a big problem here.”

Tolo and fellow researchers dissected several bags of carp sent from various Minnesota lakes on Tuesday confirming more cases of the virus. Tolo said it’s important to educate the public on mass fish kills. “It can be a little alarming when thousands of fish wash up on the shore. People wonder if the water is safe,” Tolo said. “We want to let them know what fish kills are and what they can do to report them.”

Through a MAISRC website, members of the public can report fish die-offs. The site lets people click on a lake, fill in data about their discovery and send the data directly to researchers like Tolo — who then travel to the lake with testing materials to assess causes of death. Phelps said the research team wants to release the virus in Minnesota lakes to curb the spread of invasive carp. The disease wouldn’t threaten other fish species, he said, because of its specificity to carp. “We’ve never found it in a walleye, musky or bait fish,” Phelps said.

Phelps said MAISRC hopes to learn from researchers in Australia, who have spent the last 10 years looking into bio-control as a means of eliminating carp in their country.

“It’ll be the first time that pathogens will be used for aquatic animal control,” he said. “They’re pushing the envelope a bit, so we’re sitting back and learning what we can from that experiment.”

The Australian government plans on releasing KHV into the environment next year.

The welfare of racing greyhounds – a hot topic in Victoria

Leading greyhound veterinarians are coming together in Fitzroy this weekend to discuss ways of improving welfare standards in the greyhound racing industry in Australia.

President of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) Dr Paula Parker said that a key focus of this weekend’s Australian Greyhound Veterinarians Conference is the work that’s been done in Victoria to improve track safety for greyhounds, reduce injuries and care for these dogs past their racing life.
“Focused education events like this are critical in sharing ideas and learnings that will ultimately improve the welfare of racing greyhounds from birth to retirement right across the nation.

“The AVA has actively advocated for better health and welfare standards in the greyhound racing industry in Australia.

“In June this year, we provided a submission to the Victorian Government on the draft Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds, which aims to improve the welfare of racing greyhounds throughout all stages of their life. The AVA endorsed the draft and identified amendments to further improve health and welfare standards of racing greyhounds in Victoria, such as including dental examinations and vaccinations as part of mandatory annual health checks for each greyhound,” Dr Parker said.
The AVA says that the welfare of all greyhounds must be ensured where greyhound breeding, rearing, training and racing occurs. To protect the health and welfare of racing dogs, it’s essential that veterinarians are involved in all aspects of the greyhound racing industry. Furthermore, to ensure welfare standards of greyhounds are maintained before, during and after their racing careers, an accurate and reliable national database capable of tracking the entire life cycle of each greyhound must also be maintained.
“Through education events like this, veterinarians who specialise in the health and welfare of greyhounds are able to gather and share in the latest scientific evidence to help them drive positive welfare changes,” Dr Parker said.
The conference program includes an in-depth look at the redesign of the Horsham race track to reduce racing injuries as well as rehabilitation principles for athletic dogs and programs for specific injuries.
The Conference is being held at the Metropole Hotel in Fitzroy, 13-14 October.
Veterinarians welcome new tenancy reforms for pet owners in Victoria
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has welcomed the announcement made by the Victorian Government this week, that will make renting fairer, including ending discrimination against renters with pets.

AVA President, Dr Paula Parker said the AVA has been advocating for more pet-friendly accommodation and contributed to the Government’s review.

“In Australia, there needs to be enough appropriate pet-friendly options to accommodate those with pets, and those wanting to keep a pet in the future.

“Australian’s are pet lovers with 62 per cent of households having one or more pets, one of the highest household rates of pet ownership in the world.  Furthermore, 88 per cent of these households view their pets as important members of the family. Over half of Australians would also like a new pet,” Dr Parker said.

“Our own research has revealed that while 62 per cent of Australians are pet owners, an analysis of over 25,000 homes recently listed for rent across Australia showed that only 19 per cent were willing to take pets. In some regions, such as the Melbourne CBD, this was as low as one per cent,” she said.

There have been many studies conducted that show a high correlation between pet ownership and enhanced social and health benefits. Owning a pet can contribute to fewer doctor visits and reduction in stress.1 Studies have also shown that the presence of companion animals can alleviate depression, loneliness and low morale while dealing with chronic illnesses, and for people diagnosed with heart disease, dementia and cancer, pets provide positive impacts when coping with these serious diseases.2

Dr Parker said policies that make it difficult for pet owners to find housing is one of the major factors in people having to give up their pets to animal welfare shelters and contributes to unnecessary shelter euthanasia statistics.

“In Europe, Canada, United Kingdom and the USA, keeping pets in strata and rental accommodation is common practice and we would like this to be the case in Australia.”

The AVA looks forward to seeing the tenancy reforms implemented and will continue to work with governments across Australia for more adequate pet friendly housing. A copy of the AVA’s submission into the review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 can be viewed here.

1.            Ferry, L.A (2007). Adult Pet Attachments. ProQuest Information and Learning Company.
O’Haire, M. (2010). Companion animals and human health: Benefits: challenges and the road ahead. Journal of Veterinary Behaviour, 5, 226-234.
2.            Walsh, F. (2009). Human-Animal Bond 1: The Relational Significance of Companion Animals. Family Process 48(4), 462-480
Fanged kangaroo research could shed light on extinction

PhD student Kaylene Butler with a Balbaroo fangaroo model skull made by the UQ library 3D printing service. 

Fanged kangaroos – an extinct family of small fanged Australian kangaroos – might have survived at least five million years longer than previously thought.

A University of Queensland-led study has found the species might have competed for resources with ancestors of modern kangaroos.

Research into species diversity, body size and the timing of extinction found that fanged kangaroos, previously thought to have become extinct about 15 million years ago, persisted to at least 10 million years ago.

The fanged kangaroos, including the species Balbaroo fangaroo, were about the size of a small wallaby.

UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences PhD student Kaylene Butler said the research involved Queensland Museum holdings of ancient fossil deposits from the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, where kangaroo fossil evidence goes back as far as 25 million years.

Balbaroo fangaroo, a fanged kangaroo from the Riversleigh World Heritage Area. Image: Kaylene Butler

“Fanged kangaroos and the potential ancestors of modern kangaroos are both browsers – meaning they ate leaves – and they scurried, but did not hop,” Ms Butler said.

“Northern Queensland was predominantly covered in rainforest when these fanged kangaroos first appear in the fossil record.

“There is a lot of research to be done before we can be sure what their canine teeth were used for but some have suggested they were used to attract potential mates. We do know that despite their large canines they were herbivorous (plant eaters).

“We found that fanged kangaroos increased in body size right up until their extinction."

Ms Butler said the research aimed to fill significant gaps in the understanding of kangaroo evolution, and new fossil finds were helping to bring ancient lineages into focus.

“Currently 21 macropod species are listed as vulnerable or endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species," she said.

She said understanding when and why kangaroos went extinct in the past could help with understanding what drove extinction of such animals.

“Currently, we can only hypothesise as to why balbarids became extinct – the original hypothesis related to events during a change in climate 15 million years ago but the balbarids persisted past that," she said.

“This new finding of their persistence until 10 million years ago means something else must have been at play, such as being outcompeted by other species.”

Ms Butler last year discovered two new ancient species of kangaroo,  Cookeroo bulwidarri and Cookeroo hortusensis.

She has worked on fossil material as part of her PhD research supervised by former UQ Robert Day Fellow Dr Kenny Travouillon, now of the Western Australian Museum, and UQ’s Dr Gilbert Price.

Riversleigh research leaders Professors Michael Archer and Suzanne Hand, of the University of New South Wales, contributed to the work. Riversleigh specimen collection was undertaken by UNSW-led researchers supported by ARC grants.

Over 500 already signed up as Amazon hosts first Aussie summit

Amazon will host a marketplace seller summit in Sydney with hundreds of Australian businesses set to attend to receive advice on selling through the e-commerce giant’s platform.

Over 500 Australian sellers already registered to sell on Amazon Marketplace in Australia.

In a recent webinar with potential sellers, key account manager, Brittany Rinker, said the company aims to launch Marketplace by late 2017 or early 2018, though she emphasised that this is not an official launch date.

She said Amazon is currently focused on getting businesses signed up and creating listings on Marketplace, which represents over 50 per cent of all items sold on Amazon websites globally.

The free half-day event will provide practical guidance on setting up and growing a business online, and is being run in partnership with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and small business network, the SME Association of Australia (SMEA).

“The internet and technology have the power to level the playing field between big and small businesses, empowering Australian companies, large and small, to grow their sales and their business online,” said Rocco Braeuniger, Australian country manager, Amazon.

“We look forward to enabling local businesses to make their products available to a wide audience, not only in Australia, but also worldwide.”

The event at Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney will feature keynote presentations from Braeuniger, and head of Amazon Marketplace in Australia, Fabio Bertola, as well as insight from experts and entrepreneurs.

“Amazon launching in Australia marks an exciting time for Australian entrepreneurs,” said Adam Mills, CTO and founder of Australian business KoalaSafe, which has seen incremental year on year growth in sales, with Amazon Marketplace being its biggest channel. Mills will be presenting at the Seller Summit, sharing his experience and best practice.

“For those who are selling physical products, Amazon provides a great opportunity to get these products in front of customers and we encourage businesses to take full advantage.”

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association said Amazon’s arrival brings new possibilities to Australian retailers, small and large.

Mark Flack, board member, SMEA added that the “reality is that there’s a lot of education that needs to happen amongst the small business community when it comes to being digitally savvy and using the right tools to take their business to the next level.”

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