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Pet Industry News Newsletter 26th June 2017
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Fake building blocks hide real biosecurity risks


Authorities from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) have intercepted 50 turtles and lizards, concealed in an international mail consignment from Indonesia on 9 June 2017.
 
The package, declared as ‘toys’, was x-rayed by ABF officers in Sydney where anomalies were found. Biosecurity officers were swiftly alerted, who confirmed that 50 turtles and lizards were concealed among the toy blocks.
 
Head of biosecurity operations at DAWR, Nico Padovan, said vets secured the contraband and the animals were euthanised.
 
“People sending lizards and turtles through the mail have no concern for the welfare of the animals or the potential biosecurity risk they present to our country and people,” Mr Padovan said.
 
“Importing turtles and lizards without an import permit is not only breaking the law, but it puts human health and the health of our environmental ecosystems at risk.
 
“It is one of the reasons why the Biosecurity Act 2015 was introduced; to provide essential protection for our $59 billion agricultural industries, natural environment and the health of Australian people, animals and plants.
 
“It is an ongoing battle, but with the latest technology available we will catch those who do the wrong thing.”
 
ABF Regional Commander New South Wales, Tim Fitzgerald, said this detection is a great example of Australia’s border security processes.
 
“Australian Border Force Officers at the International Mail Centre in Sydney have done an outstanding job in identifying and examining a high risk package being imported from Indonesia, where numerous turtles and lizards were cruelly concealed in building blocks,” Commander Fitzgerald said.  
 
Mr Padovan said biosecurity was not just about stopping things at the border.
 
“We work offshore to reduce the likelihood pests and diseases make it to Australia, at the border to stop them when they do, and onshore to detect and eradicate pests and diseases that make it here,” Mr Padovan said.
 
“In 2015–16 around 138 million international mail articles were sent to Australia, with 19 million international travellers coming through Australian airports.
 
“Managing Australia’s biosecurity system is a big job.
 
“We need people to do the right thing and not bring or send things to Australia that could result in pests of diseases getting here.
 
“That way we can concentrate our efforts on those who intentionally try to thwart our systems.”
 
For information about what can and can’t be sent to Australia go to
agriculture.gov.au/travelling.
 
The turtle and lizard importation matter is still under investigation.
Small businesses encouraged to claim instant asset write-off
 
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has encouraged small business operators to take advantage of the Government’s instant asset write-off extension.
 
More businesses are now eligible to buy equipment (new or second hand) up to $20,000 and write it off immediately after legislation passed the Senate. Multiple claims can be made under the program.
 
Small business has also been redefined for tax purposes as having a turnover less than $10 million, up from $2 million.
 
Ombudsman Kate Carnell welcomed the changes.
 
“The instant asset write-off program enables small business to immediately deduct assets costing less than $20,000 instead of claiming deductions over a number of years,” she said.
 
“This is a welcome incentive for small business to invest, which provides benefits for the broader economy and employment.”
 
Ms Carnell said anecdotal evidence suggested only a small proportion of eligible businesses were taking advantage of the opportunity.
 
“I encourage small business operators to invest before June 30 and claim the tax deduction,” she said.
 
Assets that cost $20,000 or more can't be immediately deducted.
 
Ms Carnell said small businesses in some industries would generally require assets above the $20,000 threshold.
 
“Effectively, this means that some industries are disadvantaged,” she said.
 
“It makes more sense for the threshold to be raised so that all businesses can benefit, upgrade their assets and continue to grow to benefit the economy.
 
“I will continue to urge the Government to lift the $20,000 threshold because for some industries, like farming, it’s too low for them to purchase equipment.”
Upcoming PIAA Events
 
July 2017
8-9 July - Dogs ACT International Grooming Competition - Exhibition Park Canberra
 
August 2017
20-23 August - AusBoard 2017
27 August - Dogs QLD All Dogs Sports Spectacular Grooming Competition - Dogs QLD Durack
 
September 2017
3 September - Adelaide Royal Grooming Competiton - Adelaide Showgrounds
 
October 2017
1 October - Melbourne Royal Grooming Competition - Melbourne Showgrounds
19-20 October - AusPet 2017
19-20 October - GroomEx Grooming Competition and Supplier Show

Grand Pavilion, Rosehill Racecourse, Sydney
 
November 2017
4-5 November - Perth Pet Expo Grooming Competition - Claremont Showgrounds, Perth

Independent ANAO review finds APVMA lacking

 
  • ANAO report on APVMA is highly critical of the organisation
  • ANAO finds 2014 reforms not well implemented
  • Findings unrelated to relocation
A scathing report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) highly critical of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) was tabled in parliament today and reinforces the Coalition Government’s decision to restructure the agency; including a relocation in partnership with the University of New England at Armidale.
 
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the ANAO’s independent assessment of the APVMA’s performance confirmed that, after years of poor performance, the regulator could no longer continue under its business as usual model.
 
“This audit finds significant weaknesses in how the APVMA has implemented the government’s 2014 agvet chemical legislative reforms and says the business practices, systems, risk management and governance arrangements employed by the agency are just not good enough,” Minister Joyce said.
 
“And to think this is the model that Labor and its Shadow Minister actually wants to keep. The report finds that the ongoing poor culture and governance arrangements have the potential to impact on future reforms and the success of the APVMA’s relocation to Armidale, not the other way around.
 
“The reforms we legislated in 2014 were developed as a result of thorough consultation with industry and were meant to reduce the cost burden on industry stakeholders and reduce the red tape.
 
“This report finds more than two years since that legislation came into effect measures to cut red tape, like introducing a risk-based regulatory framework, are yet to be implemented.
 
“I am really disappointed that the poor implementation of the reforms by the regulator has not delivered the more efficient access to safe effective chemicals that industry urgently need and that’s why this government needs to take significant action to reform the APVMA. 
 
“This is particularly important in the context of the relocation to Armidale. It is vital the APVMA implements a robust risk management framework and oversight arrangements to support business continuity during the establishment of the Centre for Excellence in Armidale.
 
“With new leadership and the APVMA’s relocation to Armidale, we now have a genuine opportunity to build an efficient and effective regulator of the future.
 
“I look forward to working with the interim Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Parker, to deliver long overdue improvements to the APVMA’s performance and improve access to agricultural and veterinary chemicals for Australian farmers.”
 
The report’s findings and recommendations are available at:  
https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/pesticide-and-veterinary-medicine-regulatory-reform
 
Fast facts
  • The APVMA assesses and registers and all agvet chemicals proposed for use in Australia, and currently has around 13,000 products on its register.
  • The APVMA receives around 5000 applications each year, with approximately 70 per cent of applications seeking to vary an existing registration or approval, or produce a copy of an existing product.
Vets and medical health experts gather to take action against antimicrobial resistance
 
 Antibiotic resistance and the emergence of ‘superbugs’ is a global problem, and represents one of the greatest threats to both human and animal health.
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that unless urgent action is taken on the use of antibiotics in humans and animals, the world is heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.
 
Dr Paula Parker, national president of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), will be attending an Antimicrobial Resistance Summit in Melbourne on 29 June where human and animal health experts will discuss the actions that need to be taken in Australia to fight antibiotic resistance.
 
“The veterinary profession has long been proactive in working alongside human health experts to fight antibiotic resistance at every opportunity,” Dr Parker said.
 
In 2015, the Australian government released its first ever National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy to guide our response to the threat of antibiotic misuse and resistance. Veterinarians were involved in the development of this strategy, which includes priorities for action relating to antibiotic use in animals.

“Australian veterinarians have judicious use guidelines in place that inform their use of antibiotics. These guidelines help to ensure we’re not overprescribing or misusing antibiotics. The AVA has also embarked on a three-year project in partnership with Animal Medicines Australia to develop best-practice antibiotic prescribing guidelines for horses and the main livestock species.

“Australia is part of a select group of countries including Iceland, New Zealand, Sweden and Finland that have a low-level of use of antibiotics in animals compared with much of the rest of the world, and levels of important resistances are low. This is a great achievement but we can’t stop there; it’s important that we continue to improve on what we’re doing to combat antimicrobial resistance.

“The key for vets is to work with farmers and pet owners every day to prevent illness and disease in Australian animals by ensuring best practice infection prevention and control and providing nutritious diets, vaccinations, good husbandry, and stress-free environments.

“The AVA is a proud supporter of the Antimicrobial Resistance Summit. Events like this that bring together experts in their respective fields allow us to continue to strengthen our fight against antibiotic resistance, which is increasing at a frightening pace.
 
Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, at any age, in any country, and to help address this major global health threat, the AVA will continue to champion the responsible use of antibiotics in Australia,” Dr Parker said.

Review on low value GST looms


The Productivity Commission will conduct an inquiry into charging GST on low value imports before the end of the year, under an amendment made to legislation in the Senate yesterday.

During debate over a long-awaited change that would see GST collected on imported goods valued below $1000 yesterday, Labor Senator Katy Gallagher moved to ensure a review of alternative tax collection models that could change the implementation of the legislation.

The amendment will see the Productivity Commission deliver a report on the feasibility of alternative models, as well as other relevant matters to the operation of GST collection on low value imports, by 31 October 2017 – well before the current 1 July 2018 implementation date.

The legislation, which local retailers have long argued for as a necessity for taxation fairness with international competitors, has now been returned to the Lower House and is expected to pass without further changes.

However, the impending inquiry could see changes made to the implementation of the Bill, including the proposed vendor-hybrid collection model.

The current vendor-hybrid model requires international marketplaces to collect and remit GST from third party sales on their platforms, which is believed to be unworkable and ineffective by the likes of Amazon, Alibaba, Etsy and Ebay.

Those e-commerce companies advocate a logistics model that would see the likes of Australia Post collecting and remitting GST on low value goods. However, Australia Post has previously said it would be unable to facilitate such an operation.

The commission will be required to hold public hearings in the process of the inquiry and make recommendations based on its findings.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) had originally advocated for the customary two-year review of the legislation and still supports the model proposed by Government.

Assistant Shadow Treasurer Andrew Leigh believes that figure is unacceptable and that a better outcome could be reached through further consultation.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman told Inside Retail yesterday that the ARA was open to considering other models, provided they delivered a better outcome for retailers.

“We need to use this 12 months to get in the best result that we can,” Zimmerman said. “Our view is that the model proposed, although not perfect, is a really good way of implementing it, however if someone can give us a better model that can be implemented effectively we’ll look at it.”

Both Zimmerman and National Retailers Association chief executive Dominique Lamb said that it was disappointing that the implementation of the changes had been delayed from the initial 1 July 2017 start date.

“While a 2017 implementation date would have gone a long way to helping Australian retailers level the playing field with their overseas counterparts, the logistics surrounding its implementation are challenging, and need considerable time to iron out,” Lamb said.

Previous research conducted by KPMG and based on Treasury figures indicate that the expected compliance rate under the current vendor-hybrid model is as low as 25 per cent.

An international debate has taken place in recent years surrounding the best way to implement low value GST collection on imports, but no definitive conclusion has been reached. The OECD is due to release a highly anticipated report on the matter in the coming years.

The Greens unsuccessfully pushed for an amendment to the Bill on Monday that would have seen sanitary products such as tampons and pads exempted from the GST changes.
Source: Inside Retail

Peak veterinary association welcomes new president
 
 Dr Paula Parker has become the national president of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), which represents close to 10,000 veterinarians and veterinary students.


Dr Parker said it was an honour and privilege to be elected President of the AVA.

“The depth and diversity of skills of our members is humbling as is their commitment to work proactively together to advance veterinary science and support each other and their communities.

“It’s an exciting time to be a veterinarian and to be part of the AVA. The veterinary landscape is changing at a rapid pace so it’s important that the AVA anticipates the future needs of the profession.

“I’m proud to be leading the AVA as we advocate for the health and welfare of Australia’s animals and champion the responsible use of antibiotics.
 
“It’s also a pleasure to chair a board of engaged and skilled directors, who are so committed to the success of the profession,” she said.

The AVA’s CEO, Mr Graham Catt, said the association warmly welcomes Dr Paula Parker to the position as national president.
“Paula is driven, accomplished, a good communicator and during her two years on the board has shown a passion for strong governance. I look forward to working with her as we continue to position the AVA and our members as the health and welfare leader in Australia’s animal industries,” Mr Catt said.

Paula is the youngest national president in the association’s nearly 100-year history.

About Paula Parker

Paula was appointed to the Board of the AVA in 2015. She has been President of the South Gippsland Branch of the Victorian Division and has served on both the finance and risk and audit committees throughout her time on the AVA Board. Paula was involved in the successful amalgamation of the AVA Practice Management special interest group and the Australian Veterinary Business Association to form the Veterinary Business Group, which launched on 1 January 2017. Paula has postgraduate qualifications in Business and Corporate Governance. She is passionate about organisational governance and leadership in the not-for-profit sector.

Paula graduated from the University of Queensland with first class honors in 2008. As a clinician, she worked in large animal and mixed practice in Gippsland for five years before transitioning to full time emergency and critical care practice. She has been a hospital director in both referral and general practice settings. Paula has a Master of Veterinary Clinical Studies from Murdoch University and is a Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Emergency and Critical Care. Paula is now a senior emergency and critical care veterinarian in a multi-disciplinary specialist hospital on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She is actively involved in the mentoring, clinical training and development of veterinarians with a similar passion for emergency and critical care.
ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence eased slightly (-0.4%) to 112.4 last week. Broadly, though, confidence has recovered from the mid-May low. That said, there continues to be significant volatility between sub-indices.
  • Households’ expectations of current economic conditions edged up 0.6% last week, after a sharp 5.2% decline the previous week. Households’ confidence in future economic conditions rose 2.8%, however, more than offsetting the 2.6% fall in the previous week.
     
  • Households’ views around current financial conditions dropped a sharp 8.1%, unwinding most of the 9.4% jump in the previous week. Meanwhile, views towards future conditions edged up another 0.2% following a 1.5% rise in the week before last. This sub-index is at its highest point in seven weeks.
     
  • The ‘time to buy a major household item’ sub-index rose 2.0% last week. This sub-index has risen quite sharply since early May and is close to its peak at the start of the year.
     
  • Inflation expectations remain unchanged, at 4.2% on a four-week moving average basis.

Moonee Beach Holiday Park Nationally Recognised as a Pet's Paradise

North Coast Holiday Parks (NCHP) Moonee Beach is celebrating a mastiff win after being recognised as the number two pet-friendly park in Australia by popular Australian camping and caravanning magazine, Time to Roam.


Moonee Beach Park Manager Kelly Shaw with furry guests Sally (left) & Alex (right)

The article from Time to Roam’s June/July Edition (Issue 27) was based on nominations from the magazine’s readers, with parks included having a rating of “four paws or more”.

The article noted the great amenities for pets at the parks such as a dog wash station to ensure all pets staying at the park are looking their best when meeting potential furry friends. Time to Roam also expressed their enthusiasm surrounding the park’s neighbouring pet-friendly park, which allows dogs of all kinds to hit the waves and hang ten with the best of local surfers.

Park Managers Mark and Kelly Shaw said they were excited to be leaders of the pack in the industry, with the recognition demonstrating their dedication to providing inclusive holidays to all family members - no matter their shape, size or species.

“We are so excited to be recognised as one of the best pet-friendly parks in Australia. We now have nine dog-friendly cabins and dogs are allowed inside the cabins with their owners,” Kelly said.

“All of Moonee Beach is wonderfully dog friendly, including the local Moonee Beach Tavern for meals, Moonee’s shopping centre which is a short drive from the park and the local Doggy Café which comes complete with play area.

“Dogs at Moonee Beach can stay across the park with their owners and we have dog-waiting areas outside all amenities blocks, our camp kitchen and the main office. Our pet-friendly status makes Moonee Beach a great place for the whole family, especially for four legged members.”

NCHP Moonee Beach is part of the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT), which has a strong focus on providing unforgettable holidays for families in iconic destinations across NSW, furry friends included. NSWCHPT also manages the operations of Inland Waters Holiday Parks (IWHP) and South Coast Holiday Parks (SCHP).

NSWCHPT CEO Steve Edmonds said the Group was dedicated to fulfilling the recreational and accommodation needs of families across Australia, recognising that many guests prefer not to leave their pets at home when on holiday.

“This accolade from such an esteemed publication within our industry shows our commitment to providing exceptional experiences to our guests through exceptional service,” Mr Edmonds said.

“This high level of service includes the recognition that pets play an important role in the Australian family unit and where possible we ensure they are allowed access to our parks.
New international day recognises importance of small business
 
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has welcomed United Nations recognition of small business as a driver of employment and economic development.

June 27 has been designated Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.
A resolution was adopted unanimously at the UN General Assembly in April.
The assembly noted that more than 95 per cent of enterprises in the world are micro, small and medium-sized and they account for about 60 per cent of international private sector employment.

In Australia, Ms Carnell said small businesses employ almost half of all workers and create a substantial proportion of new jobs.

“Small business contribution to the Australian economy is higher than the OECD average,” she said.

“According to the OECD, small businesses account for 44 per cent of employment in Australia and we rank eighth out of 32 OECD countries on this measure.
“The number of small businesses which are exporting continues to increase.
“The tax contribution of small and medium enterprises is also significant and growing faster than big business.”

Ms Carnell has urged everyone to reflect on the importance of small business and make a gesture to show their support for the sector.

“If you’re buying goods or services on Tuesday, June 27, think about small business and if you can support one with your purchase, please do,” she said.
“Just about everybody knows somebody in small business. A word of thanks or acknowledgement to your local hairdresser, coffee shop or pharmacist would be warmly welcomed.”

Ms Carnell said she hopes the international day will become more widely recognised.
“It’s the first year, and I sincerely hope that governments, business organisations and communities will get behind it,” she said.
 
AT A GLANCE:
  • 2,116,708 small businesses at June 2016*
  • employing more than 4.7 million people (44 per cent of total employment at June 2016)
  • small business accounts for 35 per cent of Australia’s industry contribution to economic activity (as at 2015–16)
  • in 2013-14 there were 19,965 small business exporters, representing 44% of all business exporters, up from 38% in 2008-09
  • in 2012-13, small and medium enterprises accounted for 35% of company tax revenue, up from 32% in 2010-11.
* (based on ABS definition of 0-19 employees).
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