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Does you pet just go to heaven when it dies or is it more complicated than that.
Post AustPet 2017 report
A detailed report on Amazon in Australia

Petition to reverse the exclusion of animal sentience reaches 178,000

A petition to reverse the UK Government’s decided to exclude the status of animals as sentient beings  in the EU withdrawal bill has reached 178,000.

MPs rejected the clause to recognise animals as sentient, a provision covered by EU law. As part of the EU withdrawal bill Green MP Caroline Lucas submitted the clause but it was rejected with 313 votes against and 295 in favour.

From March 2019 European law will no longer apply within the UK.

A statement on the petition says: “Animals have long held the status of being sentient beings in the UK, through legislation created in the EU. This means they are recognised as being capable of feeling emotions such as joy and compassion, but also fear, suffering and terror. The vote in Parliament, narrowly won by the Government, removes this status from all animals in the UK, and is a massive blow for the welfare of wildlife, pets and livestock alike.”

Charities and organisations have also shared their upset at the decision. OneKind Director Harry Huyton said: “This has been a principle of EU law for twenty years. Its introduction was a landmark moment for animal protection in Europe as it recognised that all animals are sentient beings and that the European Union had a duty to ‘pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals’ when developing and implementing policy.

“This has become a bedrock for animal protection across Europe and is a key legal principle. Its loss as a result of Brexit would be a major backwards step for animals and would send a strong message that the UK is willing to sacrifice animal welfare for economic gain.

“Whilst Westminster might be willing to take this step backwards, we can’t believe that the Scottish Parliament would. Today we’re therefore calling on the Scottish Government to urgently bring forward a proposal that would enshrine the principle of animal sentience in Scottish law.”

The Dogs Trust has warned that there is a real risk of animal welfare laws slipping in the UK.

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We can help with that.

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Directory for your wholesaler and product source for your product.

Entry on the web site is $55.00 per year.
Faster payments a 'game changer' for small business
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has welcomed the Federal Government’s move to introduce 15-business-day payment terms for small business suppliers.
The Government today announced the plan in its response to the Ombudsman’s April 2017 Inquiry into Payment Terms and Practices.
The report found that late payments have been a perennial problem for businesses in Australia.
Ombudsman Kate Carnell said the Government’s response showed leadership and a willingness to lead by example.
“This is a game changer for small businesses and family enterprises that provide goods and services to the Government,” Ms Carnell said.
“Cash flow is king for small business and this will make a huge difference.
“It will save money on interest payments, boost confidence and free up capital for reinvestment.”
Ms Carnell said overseas experience showed significant benefits from faster payment times.
Her inquiry report cited the European Union, which estimates that each day of reduction in late payment times saves European companies approximately 158 million euros in financing costs.
In the United States, a study showed that faster payments to businesses had created 75,000 jobs and $6 billion in wages growth.
Ms Carnell said she hoped the Federal Government’s initiative would inspire similar responses from states and big business.

Las Vegas City Officials Repeal Pet Sale Ban

“The Las Vegas City Council voted to repeal a ban that would have prevented pet stores from selling dogs, cat and potbellied pigs that didn’t come from a rescue organization or animal care facility,” according to an article from Las Vegas Now.

This decision is “great news” for all involved, according to a Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) spokesperson.

“The Las Vegas City Council correctly recognized that its pet sale ban was based upon incorrect attacks from activists, not the facts of where Puppy Boutique and other pet stores source their pets,” said Josh Jones, director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs of PIJAC. “The city’s pet sale ban repeal is great news for pet lovers, the small businesses that faced enormous costs, and the city itself.

“The Las Vegas City Council’s decision to overturn its sales ban is great news for all who care about pets,” Jones told Pet Age. “This was the result of a comprehensive effort by the industry—from local stores to national associations like PIJAC—without which the ban would still be in place.”

 The 4-3 vote on November 15 was a reversal of the city vote in 2016. The replacement of two council members—one who voted in favor of the ban, one who opposed it—led to the reconsideration, then the reversal, of the ordinance.

“The contentious city council meeting involved hours of testimony from the public both in favor of the ban and for the repeal. Much of the discussion focused on two pet stores in Las Vegas—Petland and [Puppy] Boutique,” Las Vegas Now reported.

According to PIJAC, the city’s pet stores would have only been allowed to source cats and dogs from rescues and shelters, severely limiting available breeds and the ability of pet lovers to find the best companion animal for specific needs. Puppy Boutique, would have had to close and reopen outside of the city, PIJAC said.

The ordinance was to go into effect in January 2018. It would only affect pet stores, which are Nevada’s most highly regulated options for consumers looking for a pet.

“On behalf of our members locally and nationwide, PIJAC applauds city officials for recognizing that their city’s pet stores are not supporters of unethical breeders. Puppy Boutique, for example, passed an inspection earlier this month with flying colors,” Jones said. “Responsible pet stores like those in Las Vegas work only with licensed commercial breeders and ethical hobby breeders. This is why Puppy Boutique and other stores have thrived on their relationships with thousands of satisfied customers.

“Pet stores have been part and parcel of the Las Vegas community for years,” Jones added. “Today, the city council saved pet choice and the dreams of small business owners.

“Mayor [Carolyn] Goodman and the City Council have expressed interest in replacing the ban with sourcing, transparency, and animal care language,” Jones told Pet Age. “PIJAC looks forward to being involved in these discussions, and to doing our part to ensure that the City Council properly regulates all who care for about and companion animals.”

Source: US Pet Age

Amazon sales go through the roof in the USA

Sales of pet products by the online trading giant Amazon in the USA reached 2.2 bn dollars in the period between October 2016 and September 2017.

The lion's share of 44 per cent of this figure was accounted for by the pet food and feeding supplies category, which exhibited the biggest growth in pet product sales, rising by 47 per cent. The strongest sub-category was dry dog food, which yielded sales of 445 mio dollars.

This was bigger than all other categories in the pet segment at Amazon. The litter and odour category also grew disproportionately with an increase in sales of 44 per cent to 170 mio dollars.
Source: Pet Worldwide

Pet humanisation trends drive one-billion-dollar deal
Quadrant Private Equity has made a move to sell their majority interest in Real Pet Food Company, following pet humanisation trends
Increasing numbers of people are treating their pets like family members, which is giving rise to pet humanisation trends. Consumers have become more conscious of having a healthy lifestyle and diet, and now want the same for their pets. Households have become more willing to invest in their pets’ care and diet, which is driving demand for higher quality pet food and boosting overall pet food production.

Capitalising on this trend, Quadrant Private Equity has entered into a one-billion-dollar agreement to sell their majority interest in Real Pet Food Company (RPFC) to Hosen Capital, New Hope Group and Temasek. David Grant, RPFC’s CEO, will join the board of the partner group. Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board has yet to approve the acquisition, but RPFC plans to expand globally to become one of the world’s top five pet food companies. The company will initially expand into the United States and Asia, where pet humanisation have grown strongly.

Increasing demand for high-quality pet food is projected to boost pet food producers’ revenue over the next five years. Higher demand is also anticipated to create a highly competitive market, which is likely to see companies release premium products in an attempt to differentiate themselves.

For example, in 2016, VIP Topco, the holding company for RPFC, launched Farmers Market, a new premium pet food brand. This brand, made from natural ingredients sourced from farms, is different to other brands the company produces, and offers over 60 options, including fresh, frozen, wet and dry pet food. Despite strong competition, VIP Topco’s revenue increased by 0.3% in 2016-17 (latest available data).

Mars Australia has also responded to premiumisation trends by operating through several pet food brands that target specific breeds and address pet health concerns such as digestion and weight management. In particular, Royal Canin offers pet food individualised to different nutritional requirements for
specific breeds and weight categories.

Mars Australia’s revenue from pet food manufacturing is expected to increase by 0.3% in 2017 to reach $697.6 million.

Rather than focusing on flavour, consumers are seeking pet food that also provides nutritional benefits through high-quality ingredients and manufacturing standards that are as high as those for human food. This demand has driven manufacturers such as VIP Topco and Mars Australia to invest in research to produce more sophisticated and premium products. Despite increasing competition, as the pet humanisation trend continues to grow, research investment is forecast to assist industry and company revenue growth.
Source: IBIS World
Riskiest Time to Shop Online: How to Shop Safely During Holiday Season

The busiest online shopping season is here with more online shoppers expected than ever, and booming online fraud as well. NordVPN offers 77% off for Cyber Month
We are entering the busiest shopping time of the year. This year, online fraud is expected to be bigger than before. As more people than ever are shopping online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, the risk for cybercrime is higher than ever, and not all Internet retailers are prepared to handle this kind of growth.
Reports show that the growth in online shopping is proportionate to the rise of criminal credit card fraud - many online shops and their clients are not aware of simple safety protocols as we are entering deeper into all-digital age. In 2016, the use of stolen credit card data to pay for merchandise on websites has surged by 40 percent.
Online stores are huge sites of targeted attacks by hackers who try to steal users’ financial details and then use them for money laundering or other schemes. There have been too many cases where an innocent user was tricked into believing that they were entering credit card details on a secure online store while in reality, the user was providing their details to a hacker.
There are many ways online shopping can become hazardous to any user. For example, a website one found online may be a spoofed fraudulent site set up by hackers to steal users’ data. Or the online store where one shops may not be using a secure encryption protocol to ensure that their customers’ details are safe during the payment process.
In order to stay safe when shopping online, there are simple tips everyone should know about. NordVPN, a VPN service provider that helps secure online experience, advises to follow these simple steps:
1. https
The first thing you should always see while making an online payment is whether the payment gateway has an https URL. The ‘s’ in the URL means that it is a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly.
2. Stay away from public terminals
It cannot be stressed enough how dangerous it is to share your personal or financial information with any website or any person over the internet while using a public internet connection. Public WiFi networks are common hunting grounds for attackers and data snoopers who try to access your personal information and use it for their benefit at your expense. Since public networks have negligible security, you should try and avoid using them while making online payments.
3. Be wary
Being vigilant can help you a lot in the task of shopping online securely. Whenever a website requests more information than is usually required, like your Social Service number or any other kind of personal information, it usually spells fraud. You should always be cautious before giving your personal or financial details anywhere on the internet.
4. Use a VPN
VPNs encrypt all the data you share across the internet on any website. They are the best security mechanism you can employ to make sure the data you share over the internet is safe from prying eyes and remains confidential. You can choose reliable VPNs like NordVPN, which offers great connection speeds, uses strong encryption protocols, has good global coverage and is quite reasonably priced.
5. Stronger Passwords
Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account setup is using strong passwords. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into your account and cause severe damage to you.
The novelty of online shopping freedom should not make consumers less cautious. Quite the contrary, online shopping can be dangerous if right precautions are not taken. The methods listed above can help anyone shop online securely. If something looks out of the ordinary and the deal looks too good to be true, it’s important to be very careful before clicking on suggested links. Every year, big online shopping periods, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas shopping season, make online fraudsters more innovative, but education about fraud prevention and simple precaution can keep all shoppers safe.

It's not just Google and Tesla: Walmart is quietly testing a self-driving vehicle, but this one scrubs floors

With its orange caution light, red bristles and bulky frame, the device looks like any other late-night floor cleaner, with one exception: No human is needed to operate it.

Walmart has quietly begun testing an advanced, autonomous floor scrubber during overnight shifts in five stores near the company's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., a move that could free workers from hours of drudgery, but that has already raised alarm among some employees. As the U.S.’s largest private-sector employer, Walmart is watched carefully for any shifts it makes to its workplace.

The machine resembles a traditional scrubber but comes equipped with similar technology used in self-driving cars: extensive cameras, sensors, algorithms and Lidar for navigational mapping. Think of it as a Roomba crossed with a Tesla. A human must first drive the device to train it on a path; it can then operate largely independently, including when a store is open to customers. If a person or object gets in its way, it momentarily pauses and adjusts course.

The device is the creation of San Diego-based Brain Corp., according to a person familiar with the matter. The company, which will employ about 100 by year’s end, develops autonomous software and raised $114 million in Series C funding in July, led by Softbank’s $93 billion Vision Fund. A Brain Corp. representative said the company doesn’t comment about specific clients. A Walmart spokesperson, Kory Lundberg, confirmed the test but said it is still in a “proof of concept” phase. If successful, it could be rolled out to more stores.

“We’re always testing new ideas and new technology,” Lundberg said. “We still have a lot more to learn about how this technology will work best for our different retail locations.”

Multiple employees who work at the retailer's 24-hour Supercenter in Pineville, Mo., about 20 minutes north of Walmart's home office, confirmed the use of the device to me this week, saying it had been tested in their store for about a month this fall. In a private Facebook group earlier this month, someone who claims to be a worker at the Pineville store shared a photo of the greyish vehicle making a turn near a display for $78 deer feeders. No one is seated in the driver’s seat, and two “caution, cleaning in progress” banners are shown on both sides of the device. An ICE logo is also affixed; Holland, Mich.-based International Cleaning Equipment, a Brain Corp. partner, manufactures the scrubbing equipment itself.

Walmart has said it wants to automate tasks that are “repeatable, predictable and manual,” giving its people more time to focus on higher-value work like customer service and selling. It is putting shelf-scanning bots in 50 stores to more accurately check prices and inventory, it announced last month. The company said the bots would not lead to a drop in headcount.

Walmart’s test of the robotic floor cleaning device has not been previously reported.

“Retailers are looking for opportunities to automate processes and stop paying people,” said Richard A. Feinberg, a professor of consumer sciences and retailing at Purdue University, who predicts automation will ripple through the retail industry over the coming years, touching everyone from delivery people to cashiers.

He said Walmart deserves credit for being willing to test and learn from new technology, and added it’s unclear if its experiment with the robotic cleaning machinery would ultimately cost jobs or affect workers’ hours.

“It changes the nature of the jobs; it may not mean fewer jobs, it may mean they can retrain the people to do things that are more useful for them, business wise,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if it reduces headcount, but I don’t know.”

In a Q&A with reporters in June, CEO Doug McMillon said that the retailer may need fewer people in the future as technology changes how its 1.5 million U.S. employees function. But he also added that the growth of the company’s online business had created thousands of new roles that did not previously exist in its stores and ecommerce fulfillment centers.

While many retailers have retrenched this year, Walmart has surged. Last week, shares hit an all-time high of $99.62 Thursday after the company reported some of its strongest sales in years. Online sales from sites like, and Bonobos rose 50 percent. In a sign that it is increasingly open to testing new technology, Walmart also said Friday it had pre-ordered 15 of Tesla’s new electric tractor trailers, to be released in 2019.

Yet its vast footprint of physical stores remains its biggest differentiator in its competitive battle with Amazon. In stores, overnights have long been a time for employees to restock shelves and tidy up with few interruptions from customers. Cleaning aisle after aisle can take hours in particularly cavernous locations, and would seem to be a job that fits Walmart’s description of a repeatable, manual task ripe for automation.

The Brain Corp. device used at Walmart is named EMMA, a human, feminine moniker for what is ultimately an acronym: “Enabling Mobile Machine Automation.”

Phil Duffy, the vice president of innovation for Brain Corp., wouldn’t comment on whether the Walmart machine was made by his company, but explained that the 1-year-old EMMA is meant not as a replacement for humans but as a way to address challenges in the labor market.

Many companies struggle with high turnover and difficulties in hiring maintenance and janitorial staff to work third-shift positions. At retailers, typically only 20 percent of an overnight employee’s job is dedicated to floor cleaning, Duffy said, meaning the worker could also easily be repurposed elsewhere.

“[An employee] is spending three hours sitting on a machine, driving it around, when he could be used on much more higher-value tasks,” Duffy said.

Working with the robot also introduces hourly staffers to autonomous technology; they’re no longer riding a scrubber, they’re helping direct it, which could help employees gain new skills, Walmart's Lundberg said.

Brain Corp. makes the software that powers the robotic components for the machinery. It partners with existing cleaning equipment manufacturers to provide the scrubber itself.

While the company describes its product as part of a new wave of collaborative robotics — and refers to it as a “she” in marketing materials (“she keeps your neighborhood store clean”) — some Walmart employees see EMMA as more interloper than friend, at least for now.

At the Pineville store, one overnight employee told me that the device didn’t get close enough to the edges of some walls or could not fit in some spaces; another bemoaned that too many employees were frequently watching it. "Nobody in my store likes it," the person who identifies as a Pineville employee wrote in a private Facebook group in early November, suggesting the machine could lead to less work for overnight staffers.

Duffy said that “99 percent of the time, the reactions are phenomenal” and that employees want to focus their attention elsewhere. “They don’t want to be scrubbing the floor,” he said. “Floor care is dull and monotonous.”

The machine, with its top speed of 2.5 miles per hour in autonomous mode, slinks through stores, emitting a beep when it turns a blind corner. It will adjust its route if it encounters an obstacle, like a shopper or stocking cart.

Should it become trapped in an aisle, unable to exit on either end, it sends a distress signal, texting a photo of what its cameras see so a store employee — a human — can rescue it.

Free poster of the risk of antifreeze poisoning in cats

Cats are particularly susceptible due to their specialised metabolism. Cats only need to drink a teaspoon or less of antifreeze for it to cause serious illness and even death. So a curious lick or two from a small spillage could be enough to cause serious poisoning.

International Cat Care (iCatCare) has produced a free poster warning of the dangers of antifreeze to cats. This can be used to raise awareness of this issue and provides advice on keeping cats safe.

The poster can be downloaded for free HERE

Clean up any spills immediately, no matter how small, and make sure pets cannot access the area until it is clean and safe.

Never add antifreeze to garden water-features or ponds. Always keep antifreeze in clearly labelled, robust, sealed containers, away from pets and their environment. Always dispose of antifreeze safely and responsibly. Contact your local authority for advice.

If your pet shows any of the following signs take them to a vet immediately:

  • Increased urination
  • Increased drinking
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Lethargy (being abnormally sleepy)
  • Appearing drunk and uncoordinated
  • Seizures (fitting)
  • Abnormally fast heartbeat
  • Very fast, shallow breathing

The sooner veterinary treatment is received, the better their chances of survival. If left untreated pets can suffer, and will die.

Help International Cat Care to raise awareness of this serious risk and keep cats safe this winter.

Copyright © 2017 PETNEWS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, All rights reserved.

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