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The December issue of Pet Industry News is being prepared. Many companies like to do a followup after the PIAA AusPet show. This issue is ideal for this purpose. Adverts are available from as little as $375.00 for a 1/4 page. The deadline for this issue is 23rd November 2017. Please call Bob Croucher on 0418 215 722 or email

Pet owners are in the fight to preserve life-saving drugs
Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global concern and the peak body for veterinarians, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) says that everyone, including pet owners, has a role to play in fighting antimicrobial resistance.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13-19 November) is an initiative of the World Health Organization, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of responsible use of antibiotics in human health and veterinary medicine.

President of the AVA, Paula Parker, said that the overuse of antibiotics in people and animals across the globe has led to a worldwide spread of resistant bugs, which is making infections harder to treat with existing antibiotics. To curb this trend, it’s important for everyone to understand their role in fighting antibiotic resistance.

“Fortunately, in Australia, we have judicious-use guidelines in place that ensure we are not overprescribing antibiotics in animals; in fact, antibiotic use in animals in Australia is extremely low compared to most of the rest of the world.

“While this is certainly positive, we need to ensure we are continually improving on our antibiotic use in animals and pets, which is why pet owners must be fully informed regarding ways they can help to fight antimicrobial resistance.

“Pet owners should only give their pet antibiotics when prescribed by a veterinarian. Never use antibiotics from another pet, yourself or those left over from another condition on your pet.

“As is the case in human health, not every illness requires antibiotics, so don’t expect your veterinarian to recommend antibiotics every time your pet gets sick, but please always feel free to discuss the role of antibiotics with your vet” Dr Parker said.

Dr Parker says that as antibiotics are mainly used when an animal becomes sick, infection prevention and control is a key component in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

“Providing your pet with good nutrition, exercise, regular worming and vaccinations are key to preventing illness and keeping your pet healthy. Yearly check-ups with your veterinarian are also an important part of preventive healthcare. Also, when handling your pet, always follow simple hygiene measures such as washing your hands to reduce the risk of bacteria transferring between you and your pet,” Dr Parker said.
For more information visit

PIJAC USA Holds Town Hall on Aquatic Industry

Court decisions could close the Hawaii ornamental fishing industry; detecting the illegal use of cyanide in fishing is being studied; state-level aquatics and invasive species issues are being tackled by lawmakers and the industry in Michigan.
These issues dominated the annual Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) Aquatic Experience Legislative Update on Friday, November 3. Hundreds of Aquatic Experience attendees, including aquatic and fish hobbyists, full-time professionals, retailers, and industry experts, flocked to the town hall-style event at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois.
“Every year, hundreds of people nationwide come to the PIJAC Legislative Update,” said moderator Robert Likins, PIJAC’s vice president of Government Affairs. “This year was no different, except that the focus was much sharper due to the threats facing the industry.”
Attorney Jim Lynch called in to address court decisions that could close much or all of Hawaii’s ornamental fishing industry. Andrew Rhyne, Ph.D., an expert in marine biology, likewise called in to describe a study he is conducting on the accuracy of the accepted method for detecting the use of cyanide in fishing.pijac
In addition to Rhyne’s work, Chris Buerner of Quality Marine described how a PIJAC-funded study examining the detection of cyanide in ornamental fish could better identify when it has been used.
Likins, Buerner and other speakers were in-person for their presentations. Preuss Pets owner Rick Preuss, who is based in Michigan and also runs a pet industry radio show, told attendees about challenges in his state related to invasive species and other aquatics issues.

Sandy Moore, president of Segrest Farms and co-chair of the PIJAC Aquatics Committee with Buerner, spoke on industry funding of aquaculture efforts and the limitations and ecological benefits of both farm raised and wild caught aquarium fish.
Buerner closed out the Legislative Update by asking attendees to donate to PIJAC’s efforts in Hawaii. He, Moore, PIJAC Board Chair Laura “Peach” Reid and other town hall attendees across the breadth of the aquatics industry presented PIJAC with donations to assist with the association’s fight against industry opponents.
“This funding is necessary to fight two recent court decisions that may shut down Hawaii’s professional and hobby fishers, as well as to work with state officials on an environmental impact study,” Buerner and Moore said after the Legislative Update. “These alone will easily cost the industry more than $200,000 in addition to activists’ efforts in Maine, Michigan and elsewhere.”
“Much of this is borne by PIJAC in its role as the responsible pet trade’s association,” Moore and Buerner said. “We urge the industry to donate as much as it can for the legal, legislative, regulatory, and compliance fights ahead.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of PIJAC’s hard work on behalf of the aquatics industry, which showed throughout the Legislative Update,” said Reid, who is also CEO of FishMart, Inc. “The World Pet Association deserves the entire industry’s thanks for hosting not only Aquatic Experience, but also this town hall-style information session so that fish professionals, hobbyists, and experts can understand the serious threats facing the industry.
“I was proud to donate on Friday, and to continue to support PIJAC in any way that I can,” Reid concluded. “It is PIJAC that is standing between the aquatics industry’s survival and the extinction of our industry desired by extreme activists.”
Source: Pet Age (USA)
Deep-sea fish reveals twilight vision trick
A new type of cell has been found in the eye of a deep-sea fish, and scientists say the discovery opens a new world of understanding about vision in a variety of light conditions.

University of Queensland scientists found the new cell type in the deep-sea pearlside fish (Maurolicus spp.), which have an unusual visual system adapted for twilight conditions.

Queensland Brain Institute's Dr Fanny de Busserolles said the retina of most vertebrate animals – including humans – contained two photoreceptor types: rods for vision in dim light, and cones for daytime vision. Each had different light-sensitive proteins.

“Deep-sea fish, which live at ocean depths below 200m, are generally only active in the dark, so most species have lost all their cones in favour of light-sensitive rods,” Dr de Busserolles said.

Pearlsides differed in that they were mostly active at dusk and dawn, close to the water’s surface where light levels are intermediate.

“Previously it was thought that pearlsides had retinas composed entirely of rods, but our new study has found this isn’t the case,” Dr de Busserolles said.   

“Humans use their cones during the day our rods at night, but during twilight, although not ideal, we use a combination of both.

“Pearlsides, being active mainly during twilight, have developed a completely different solution.

“Instead of using a combination of rods and cones, they combine aspects of both cells into a single and more efficient photoreceptor type.”

The researchers found that the cells – which they have termed “rod-like cones” for their shapes under the microscope – were tuned perfectly to the pearlsides’ specific light conditions.

Research leader Professor Justin Marshall said the study was significant.

“It improves understanding of how different animals see the world and how vision might have helped them to conquer even the most extreme environments, including the deep sea,” Professor Marshall said.

“Humans love to classify everything into being either black or white.

“However our study shows the truth might be very different from previous theories.

“More comprehensive studies, and caution, are needed when categorising photoreceptor cells into cones and rods.”

Images: top: Dr de Busserolles; Above: the two pearlside species studied, Maurolicus muelleri (top) and Maurolicus mucronatus (bottom), Image: Wen-Sung Chung; Above: the ventral bioluminescent photophores of Maurolicus muelleri viewed under fluorescent light. Image: Wen-Sung Chung.
Hop-hikers caught web-handed
A trio of adventurous amphibians’ plans to relocate from the United States to Australia, by hiding in a container, have been foiled by biosecurity officers in Victoria.
Head of biosecurity operations, Nico Padovan, said the actions of a quick-thinking importer ensured the Cuban tree frogs were captured and destroyed before causing any harm.
“The frogs had stowed themselves in a container carrying cooling equipment and were discovered at an importers premise. Fortunately, the find was promptly reported to biosecurity officers, who attended the site and removed the crate for fumigation,” Mr Padovan said.
“While frogs may appear harmless, this particular species – the Cuban tree frog – is very invasive.  It is native to Cuba, the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, but has spread to Anguilla, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico and some parts of the US.
“Cuban tree frogs could prove extremely destructive to Australia’s unique wildlife, as they will feed on frogs, including members of their own species, as well as lizards, insects, spiders and even small snakes.
“This is another example of the importance of collaboration between industry and our biosecurity officers to successfully detect and intercept biosecurity threats and safeguard our agricultural industries and environment.
“Exotic plant and animal species not present in Australia carry the potential to transmit diseases that could damage our $60 billion agricultural industry.
“We’re very lucky to be one of the few countries in the world to remain free from many of the world’s most severe pests and diseases.
“Through a combination of offshore, at the border and onshore measures, we are able to minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering the country and affecting our unique environment, native flora and fauna, our export and tourism industries and our lifestyles.”
Biosecurity is a shared responsibility and all Australian’s are urged to remain vigilant and report sightings of unusual pests to the department’s See.Secure.Report. Hotline on 1800 798 636.

PetSmart unveils new store concept

The leading American pet store chain PetSmart has unveiled a new store concept: the Groomery, focused exclusively on pet grooming services, with the first locations opening in Manhattan and Oak Park in Illinois. An additional location is planned in Scottsdale in Arizona. The new format has a salon-style modern design and is significantly smaller than the average PetSmart store with a retail area of around 150 to 200 m2.

1 in 4 people across the globe [i] will at some point in their lives suffer from a mental or neurological disorder. Closer to home that figure is said to be around 45% of the total Australian population[ii].

Whether suffering short or long term; the most common trigger for mental health issues is social; with sufferers often experiencing long periods of isolation, social rejection and stigma.

Those that own a pet can show improvements in the fight against mental health issues.

PetSafe® Brand Australia this month partnered with Dr Leigh Plummer, a Sydney based Clinical Psychologist to further explore how of pet ownership can help to improve the lifestyle of those suffering mental health issues.

‘Experiencing a mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, can be a daily battle’, comments Dr. Plummer, ‘There is some research showing that owning and caring for a pet can help to support your mental health by improving social, emotional and physical wellbeing”.

PetSafe® Brand Australia and Dr. Plummer have come up with the top five reasons why pet ownership can help to improve the lives of those suffering mental health conditions:

1. Increase physical activity
Being a pet owner can lead to more engaging and physical activity.
‘Whether you are being more active with a pet in the home, or getting out and about, having a pet can increase your level of exercise which in term has been shown to improve mood, decrease stress, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and enhance physical fitness’, states Dr. Plummer.

2. Increase social interaction and remove isolation anxiety
Pet ownership can help to boost social interactions and lower isolation issues.
‘Having a pet can absolutely increase your social interactions be it through social media or face to face’ says Dr. Plummer, ‘incidental conversations with strangers about your pets can take place on a walk, at the dog park or even on a Facebook Community Pet Group’.

3. Provide companionship and reduce loneliness in the home
Pets provide 24/7 companionship which helps to increase mood and reduce loneliness for people that live alone.

‘The unconditional love that a pet can give you is often a relief to those that have difficulty interaction with others or have low self-esteem’, says Dr. Plummer

4. Boosts mood by providing routine and purpose
Owning a pet provides a person with daily routines, which in turn can boost mood and help stop feeling sad.

‘It’s not only what our pets do for us, it is also the act of caring for a pet that helps us to feel good’, says Dr. Plummer, ‘giving and caring for others can feel productive and be rewarding. We may also feel useful and needed. Caring for a pet may also temporarily take the focus off ourselves, our worries and negative thoughts’.

5. Reduces fear and anxiety
Pets are great listeners, cuddles and companions. They can provide those who suffer from fears, anxiety or depression comfort and unconditional support and love with no judgement.

While some pets might be better than others for people to own Dr. Plummer concludes that it is completely up to the individual and their needs.

‘I don’t think that there are any pets ‘better’ then others to own, it is all up to the individual and what suits your needs. What are you hoping to get out of caring for the pet and how will it fit into {or improve} your current lifestyle situation. I think every animal has its own individual personality, which makes caring for a pet all the more rewarding!’

Comments provided by Dr. Leigh Plummer, Clinical Psychologist based in Sydney, Australia.

*Additional health advice:
While there may be many benefits to caring for a pet, it is important to seek professional advice and support for a mental illness. If you think that you may be experiencing any mental health concerns, talk with your doctor and consider engaging in treatment with a mental health professional.
[i] Source: 2001World Health Report: World Health Organization:
[ii] Source: Australian Government Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; Mental Health services in Australia:
Copyright © 2017 PETNEWS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, All rights reserved.

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