Pet Industry News Newsletter 19th June 2017
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Monday 19 June, 2017: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) congratulate the Parliament for passing the low-value GST for offshore tangible goods under $1000 as this legislation will improve tax fairness for Australian retailers.


Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said they have been working with the Federal and State Governments since 2008 to reduce the Low Value Threshold (LVT) and provide a level playing field for Australian retailers.


“Today the Australian retail industry received a big win, as this much-needed GST will significantly assist our local retailers when trading against our international counterparts,” Mr Zimmerman said.


“This new legislation will create a fairer tax system for Australian retailers who are currently operating in a tough trading environment.”


The ARA congratulate the Parliament for passing this Bill but are extremely disappointed that the legislation won’t be implemented until 1 July 2018.


“We are disappointed there will be a 12 month delay before overseas retailers start collecting this tax, but we look forward to Australian retailers finally being given a fair chance,” Mr Zimmerman said.


“This legislation will mean our local retailers will be able to trade on the same level playing field as our international competitors.”


The ARA will continue to work with the Government and Productivity Commission to seek the most efficient system in collecting this GST.


“We will be talking to our members to ensure this legislation is implemented correctly,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Figures show Lort Smith cares for more than 700 animals every week

Releasing its Annual Report this week, iconic Melbourne-based not-for-profit Lort Smith has revealed that in 2016 its team of vets and nurses performed a total of 37,996 consultations - that’s an average of 730 animals cared for every week.

Lort Smith also provided almost $1.5 million worth of discounts to people who would otherwise struggle to afford veterinary care for their beloved pets.

This year’s results come as Lort Smith continues its annual end of financial year giving campaign to raise much needed funds to continue this important work.

Since 1936, Lort Smith has provided enduring positive impact on people, their animals and the community – through its Veterinary Hospital, Adoption Centre and Community Outreach Programs. The Annual Report highlighted the breadth of work Lort Smith carried out in the last 12 months, including:

Rehoming 1,011 surrendered animals (623 cats, 265 dogs, 123 other animals)
  • 12,725 vaccinations
  • 2,685 desexings
  • 5,722 surgeries
  • 27,228 blood and pathology tests
  • Undertaking 9,314 emergency consultations
  • Caring for 133 animals as part of its Emergency Welfare Assistance program
  • Providing 3,874 hours of Pet Therapy in hospitals, aged care facilities and allied health centres.
Lort Smith CEO David Herman said it was an incredibly busy 12 months for Lort Smith, and the organisation is already on track to provide care for even more animals in 2017.

“It was another great year for all of us and we’re proud to have continued our 81 year mission to strengthen the human-animal bond,” he said.

“Our achievement of close to 40,000 consultations reflects the growing need for Lort Smith’s services in the community, but we want to be able to do even more to care for Melbournians and their pets – especially those with limited financial means to access veterinary care and the pets of people in crisis.”

“As a non-profit organisation, Lort Smith doesn’t receive any government funding, so the only way we can continue to provide high quality care and support for animals that is accessible to their owners is thanks to the on-going support of the local community.”
People are encouraged to contribute to the end of financial year appeal online at or by calling 03 9321 7207.
Take Your Dog to Work Day (also known as TYDTWD) will take place on Friday, June 23 2017 in Australia and around the world.

Studies have shown that having pets in the workplace can reduce stress levels, increase productivity and improve workplace relationships. Petplan Australasia encourages its employees to bring their pets into the office on a regular basis, finding it boosts office morale and lowers stress levels.

The 2016 Petplan Pet Census showed that only 7.3% of respondents take their pets to work, yet more than half worry about leaving their pet at home alone. The aim of the day is to celebrate the companionship dogs provide and encourage adoptions from shelters and rescue groups.

Petplan have partnered with Royal Canin to run a photo competition on Facebook for a week following TYDTWD, in hope to get more companies on board with the initiative.

Pioneering Work on Heart Disease Earns Swedish Veterinarian the 2017 WSAVA Global Scientific Achievement Award

Professor Jens Häggström, Professor of Small Animal Medicine at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, is to receive the 2017
World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Award for Scientific Achievement in recognition of his research to understand and treat heart disease in dogs and cats. The Award, given annually to an individual judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of small animal medicine, will be presented during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 25-28 September in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Professor Häggström’s studies have led to significant advances in the treatment of many types of heart disease.  His research into myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) in dogs confirmed its status as an inherited condition and led to the development of breeding program aimed at reducing the prevalence of the disease in affected breeds, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  He also played a key role in an EU-funded project, LUPA, aimed at unravelling the genetic background to disease in dogs.

One of his most important achievements is in the area of clinical trials. Ten years ago, his clinical study into angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors in pre-clinical MMVD in Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniels led to a significant change in clinical practice.  He has since led trials examining a variety of drugs to treat canine heart disease.  These have increased the profession’s understanding of the condition and have enhanced standards of veterinary practice around the world.

Professor Häggström is also a co-founder of a breed screening program for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats.  Called the PawPeds Screening Program, it is the largest database of pedigree and feline health information in the world with data from approximately 30,000 unique cats and results from 60,000 heart screens.  It has been successful in reducing the prevalence of HCM in affected breeds by excluding affected cats from breeding.

During WSAVA World Congress, Professor Häggström will give one of a series of lectures presented by 2017 WSAVA Award winners.  His lecture is entitled: ‘Does it really matter?’

Commenting on the Award, Professor Gad Baneth, Chair of the WSAVA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, commented: “Professor Häggström has made outstanding contributions to the understanding and treatment of veterinary heart diseases and influenced both the science and practice of veterinary cardiology worldwide.”

Professor Häggström said: “I am most grateful for this recognition of the work that I have carried out with my colleagues for more than 20 years to help to improve the health of dogs and cats. I am deeply honoured to receive this WSAVA award and I dedicate it to my colleagues and family.”

The WSAVA aims to advance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide through creating an educated, committed and collaborative global community of veterinary peers.  It currently represents more than 200,000 veterinarians through 101 member associations.  Its annual World Congress brings together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all aspects of companion animal veterinary care. 

Zoo Med Laboratories is celebrating 40 YEARS of Saving Your Reptiles!

For 40 years, Zoo Med has been helping keep your reptile, amphibian, fish, bird, and other exotic pets happy and healthy.
Zoo Med revolutionized the keeping of live reptiles in captivity with the invention of the 1st UVB reptile lamp in 1993! Other hallmark Zoo Med innovations include the release of the 1st specialized reptile multivitamin, the 1st natural food products for reptiles, the introduction of canned insect foods, the release of our patented turtle docks, as well as the 1st modular LED Lamp for Aquatics. To date, Zoo Med holds over 20 patents and is the leader in reptile innovation!

Zoo Med has been dedicated to providing quality care and diets to your Exotic Pets for 40 years. Here’s to 40 more, and beyond!
The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said he was pleased to meet with Dr Chris Parker, following his appointment as Interim CEO of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
 Dr Parker will head up the APVMA in Armidale, as recruitment continues for a permanent CEO.
 “Dr Parker has valuable experience as a qualified veterinarian. He is a former farmer, and has extensive experience in a range of private and government sector roles,” Mr Joyce said.
 “This appointment will give the APVMA some certainty as it takes the next steps to build a world class regulator of agricultural and veterinary chemical products in regional Australia.
 “The opening of the APVMA office in Armidale is a critical move in delivering a Centre of Agricultural Excellence in the city, bringing vital government services to the doorstep of the people that use them - as promised by The Nationals.
“The opening of the interim office is also a significant step towards decentralising selected government departments, one of The Nationals’ priorities in delivering for rural areas. A whole of government process will be undertaken to identify which government functions and agencies are suitable for decentralisation.
“The APVMA’s relocation to Armidale will deliver new jobs, increase the availability of skilled employees and increase the diversity and resilience of Armidale’s economy.”
Mr Joyce added that strengthening Armidale’s agricultural science focus is already realising positive outcomes, with two new regulatory science post-graduate degrees recently established by the University of New England, delivering a ready source of highly qualified future staff for the APVMA.
So far the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation have all instigated moves to increase their regional presence.
 “I look forward to working with Dr Parker and the APVMA team in Armidale to ensure the region can thrive into the future,” Mr Joyce said

Victoria's greyhound industry, which was worth $A137 million to its economy in the most recent financial year, is seen as being under threat as a result of new government guidelines. The draft guidelines, released in the week ending 16 June 2017, are seen as unworkable by industry participants, due to the amount of extra staff they would require trainers to employ. Submissions on the draft proposals are required by 14 August.

Study sheds light on determining surgical margins for feline tumors

By Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039,

Source: Milan Milovancev, 541-737-3527,

Researchers at Oregon State University are paving the way for more precision in determining surgical margins for an aggressive tumor common in cats by analyzing tissue contraction at various stages of the post-operative examination process.

The findings are important because inaccuracy in feline injection-site sarcoma surgical margins – the tissue cut out along with the tumor to try to ensure all cancerous cells are removed – can have a negative effect on the patient’s health, whether the margin is bigger or smaller than necessary.

Understanding how margin length decreases from surgery to pathology – because of how the removed tissue shrinks and tumor cells invade surrounding tissues – can lead to better surgical margin planning and in turn a better prognosis, said corresponding author Milan Milovancev, a board-certified veterinary surgeon at OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“If we can understand the relationship between what the pathologist sees on a slide under a microscope and what the surgeon is taking out in the operating room, and what accounts for the differences between the two, then we can work backward and figure out how much surgical margin to take,” he said.

The pilot study looked at 35- to 55-millimeter surgical margins from five cats with feline injection site sarcoma, or FISS, and found the greatest margin decreases occurred right after excision. It also found the margins tended to be larger than necessary.

“Older studies showed that if you had bigger margins, cats would live longer,” Milovancev said. “The previous margin guidelines of 2 to 3 centimeters had been found to be inadequate, and the new guidelines were 5, which seemed like a big jump and in some of these cats may cause a lot of unnecessary suffering.

“The net take-home is that yes, 2 to 3 centimeters is indeed inadequate, but we didn’t find any tumors getting close to 5 centimeters. We can reduce morbidity by surgically removing what we need to take out and leaving what doesn’t need to be taken out.”

Milovancev notes that future, larger studies that categorize results by factors that might influence tumor-free margin length – such as tumor grade and location – are likely to lead to more refined preoperative surgical planning.

This pilot research builds on an earlier study by Milovancev and collaborators that examined the ability of MRIs and CT angiograms to detect cancerous lesions related to FISS, and another study that looked at three methods for assessing margins for canine mast cell tumors and soft tissue sarcomas.

In the imaging study, neither method definitely determined cancerous lesions from noncancerous ones and, surprisingly to the researchers, more than half the lesions thought to be cancerous on imaging turned out to be benign changes.

In the margin assessment research that involved more than 70 dogs, there was little agreement between the three techniques: imprint cytology, shaved margin histopathology and radial section histopathology.

“We’ll follow up on the dogs and figure out which method best predicted tumor regrowth,” he said. “The methods weren’t aligned in their results, so one of them is better than the other two.”

Findings of the FISS margin length study were recently published in Veterinary Surgery. Collaborators included Jesse Terry, Sarah Nemanic and Christiane Löhr of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

An Intramural Resident Training grant from the college’s Department of Clinical Sciences funded this research.

Yoga With Cats

They yowl. They attack ponytails. They scamper urgently across the room in pursuit of things we cannot see.

And yet, cats are a strangely relaxing presence during yoga class.

“Yoga is all about being in the moment,” and cats are in the moment “all the time,” said Amy Apgar, one of two yoga instructors at Meow Parlour, a cat shelter and cafe in Lower Manhattan that, like a growing number of places across the country, offers yoga classes with cats.

The yoga sessions are partly just for fun, but they also bring in new people who may want to adopt a pet. (The cats on hand tend to be highly available.)

Other animal-inspired yoga classes include doga with dogs, yoga with goats and yoga with rabbits. But yoga with cats has gained a small but cultish following.

Meow Parlour, which charges $6 for a half-hour admission to the cafe and $20 to $22 for a yoga class, regularly fields requests from tourists who want to schedule a class during their visits to New York City.

At Meow Parlour, a cat lopes between the yoginis in class. Meow Parlour, in Lower Manhattan, keeps a rotating cast of cats in its classes. Yoga with cats has acquired a small but cultish following. Credit Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

At the Good Mews cat shelter in Marietta, Ga. — a 5,500-square-foot facility with about 100 cats at any given time — repeat visitors are common at the monthly yoga classes. “We have space for 15 people, and we just clear the cat trees and stuff out of the way,” said Nancy Riley, the volunteer marketing coordinator for the shelter. “Instantly, the cats are there on the mats.”

At least 40 cats will wander through the yoga class, Ms. Riley said, while others will sit on perches and observe. “Sometimes one will choose a particular person and will stay with them throughout the whole class,” she said. “And some are social butterflies who meet with all the different students.”

During the savasana, or final resting pose of a yoga class, “usually at least half the people will have a cat asleep on their chest — it’s just the sweetest thing,” Ms. Riley said.

For Megan O’Boyle, a 30-year-old social worker who moved from her native Wisconsin to New York for graduate school, cat yoga is just one way to spend time with animals, something she misses from home. Living in the city with a roommate, “I need animal time,” she said. “I go to the dog park sometimes.” Ms. O’Boyle said she grew up with cats and occasionally practices yoga. After a recent class at Meow Parlour, she said, “It was easy to do, and it was fun to have the cats all around.”

Her roommate, Anna Ginzburg, who is 28 and works in finance, took the class, too. Although the dozen or so cats weren’t particularly cuddly on the night she went (with cat yoga, you take your chances), one of them, a 20-pounder named Freddie Mercury, did make his presence known by repeatedly drowning out the teacher with his meows. The instructor occasionally had to stifle a giggle.

“It’s a big stress reliever,” Ms. Ginzburg said. “I want to keep coming back.”

Yoga participants are warned against bringing their own mats, which are likely to see some claw-induced damage.

“None of the classes are ever the same,” said Emilie Legrand, a co-owner of Meow Parlour and an affiliated bakery, Macaron Parlour, both on the Lower East Side. “It depends on the group of cats and the time of day.” Afternoon classes tend to be more laid back, she said, because the cats are sleepy and just observe, while at the evening classes, when the cats are anticipating supper, they tend to be more frolicsome.

At KitTea Cat Café in San Francisco, the Cats on Mats class happens every Wednesday night and costs $30 a person. There are typically at least a dozen cats, but room for only eight yogis.

“Our yoga instructors always incorporate the silliness and unpredictability of the cats themselves,” said Courtney Hatt, 31, who ditched a job in high-tech to start up KitTea, which serves teas, Belgian waffles, wraps and other fare.

“Like, sometimes a cat will be using the litter box.”

Similar cat cafes have sprouted across the country in the last two years or so, typically separating the animal playspace from the food area, for health reasons.

The emphasis tends to be less on the food than on fostering good times for people in need of a cat fix. Cat participation in the yoga classes varies widely.

“We’ve actually had kitties who have stretched with people,” said Ms. Hatt. “Probably unintentionally. But they do an excellent downward dog.”

Ms. Legrand, of Meow Parlour, said that the rotating cast of cats refreshes the experience. “It’s fun when we have a few new cats, and you can tell it’s their first yoga class, because they are very curious,” she said. “The yoga mats are like cat magnets.”

Ingrid King, a cat blogger, practices reiki, a healing therapy that involves the transfer of energy from person to person or, in Ms. King’s case, person to cat. And while she herself is more of a Pilates person, she called yoga a good fit for everything feline.

“Cats’ energy is such a wonderful and relaxing thing to be around,” Ms. King said. “I think it’s a perfect match to yoga.”
Source - New York Times

PIAA Pet First Aid Workshops
Registrations for our Pet First Aid workshops are now open.  Places are limited and filling fast.  If you're in Perth, Adelaide, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Coolangatta or Brisbane don't miss out on the opportunity to attend these popular workshops
  • Monday July 17 - 9.30am to 12.30pm - WA Grooming & Clipping Academy, Kelmscott WA
  • Thursday July 20 - 9.30am to 12.30pm - The Spoilt Dog, Prospect, SA
  • Wednesday July 26 - 12.00pm to 3.00pm - Coffs Harbour Showground, Coffs Harbour, NSW
  • Thursday July 27 - 9.30am to 12.30pm - Byron Bay Scout Hall, Byron Bay, NSW
  • Friday July 28 - 9.00am to 12.00pm -Kirra Hill Community & Cultural Centre, Coolangatta, QLD
  • Friday July 28 - 2.00pm to 5.00pm - Dayboro Showground, Dayboro QLD
 For further information and to register, please visit our website....
These are invaluable workshops for pet industry professionals and pet lovers alike.
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