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THE MOST REBARKABLE FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD BREAKS SYDNEY RECORD!
There was seemingly nowhere else Sydneysiders wanted to be on the 4th and 5th of August than at the Dog Lovers Show, with around 28,000 visitors descending on this massive Pooch-Festival to interact with over 100 breeds and 600+ dogs whilst learning more about our best friends.
Attendance was up 27 percent on last year and Pooch fanatics of all ages were treated to pawsome performances of canine agility, celebrity vet talks, over 200 Exhibitors, Sydney’s most Insta-famous dogs, countless K9 cuddles and the spectacular high flying DockDogs.
Simba the Samoyed, Hendrix the Staffy and Nigella the Pug were just some of the social media stars that sashayed down the red carpet in the new Insta-Pooch zone, taking their rightful place on plush velvet thrones and snapping selfies with adoring fans. Favourite Aussie DJ, recording artist, record producer, dancer and mad dog lover Havana Brown made a special appearance – helping with hosting duties and enjoying a meet and greet with fans.
Sunshine and spring-like weather saw the BlackHawk DockDogs splash zone permanently packed, with visitors cheering on Australia’s longest leaping pooches as they hurled themselves into 100,000 litres of water in a bid to become national champion.
The pawpular Royal Canin Arena returned and was bustling with a brand-new entertainment program that showcased the incredible talents of dozens of pooches. Highlights included celebrity vet Dr Chris Brown presenting a “Meet the Breeds” showcase, Dr Katrina Warren and the Wonderdogs premiering a brand-new show – The Wonderdogs Go On Holiday and dog lover, champion for animal welfare and Neighbours star, Andrew Morley hosting the incredible Hero Dog Tribute show.
From barkless Basenjis and bright Border Collies to dapper Dachshunds and devoted Dobermans, the Breed Showcase gave show visitors the opportunity to learn more about Australia’s most loved dog breeds.
The Pat-A-Pooch zone was again a crowd favourite, with visitors getting the chance to pat and learn about oodles of dogs in a bean bag filled area and dog owners offering insights on what it’s like living with their canine companion.
The KONG Celebrity Vet Stage played host to engaging presentations from Dr Chris Brown, who provided insights into how to help your dog live longer and how to make the ultimate dog friendly backyard. Dr Katrina Warren demonstrated how to make your Pooch a Wonderdog, while Dr Lisa Chimes shared the five most common dog health issues and how to avoid them.
The Rescue Dog Zone attracted more people than ever before and resulted in the rehoming of many abandoned and homeless dogs who can now look forward to TLC-filled days in their forever homes.
A new attraction at the 2017 show, the Australian Hero Dog Tribute showcased the incredible skills and abilities of our service dogs and the contribution they make to improve the lives of thousands of people in our community every day.
Dozens of hero dogs were also at the event with their handlers in the Pat-A-Hero-Dog zone, giving visitors the opportunity to meet these incredible animals up close and personal.
Visitors got the chance to fire all their dog-related medical questions at trusted, reliable experts without the price tag at the Ask-A-Vet Zone presented by Greencross.
There was something for young budding vets too, with the SASH ICU Vet for Kids zone where children could speak to experienced vets to learn more about the profession and even got the opportunity to safely “operate” on stuffed dog toys.
Over 200 exhibitors showcased the latest and greatest services and stuff to reward your fur-kids including nutrition, engaging toys, tasty treats, fashionable accessories, training-aids, technology and healthcare.
Founder and CEO, Jason Humphris, said: “Attendance to the Sydney Dog Lovers Show has more than doubled to 28,000 since the inaugural event in 2014 attracted around 13,000 people. It’s testament to just how much our wonderful dogs mean to us and how eager we are to learn more about them. No words could ever describe just how much joy they bring to our lives but the event strives to encapsulate this unique bond we share with our four-legged best friends. We can’t wait to bring the festival to passionate dog lovers in Queensland this 4 and 5 November for the inaugural Brisbane Dog Lovers Show.”
Company saddled with heavy fine for the supply of an unregistered veterinary chemical product
A business supplying horse health-care products has been fined $11 250 by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for possession and supply of an unregistered veterinary chemical product.
APVMA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Parker, said the supplier continued to put Australian consumers and horses at risk by failing to comply with a written undertaking to cease supply of the unregistered product.
“It’s illegal to supply unregistered agricultural and veterinary chemicals, and for good reason, so when we find evidence of blatant non-compliance we treat this very seriously,” Dr Parker said.
“Unregistered vet products have not been through our robust scientific assessment and may not have undergone the required testing to validate their safety and effectiveness or meet industry standards for Good Manufacturing Practice.
“Not all horse products require registration, but this particular product did. It made therapeutic claims on the label and should have been registered with the APVMA.”
The APVMA began investigating the potential breach in 2016 when a monitoring warrant was executed on the business concerned.
In December 2016, the APVMA informed the business that the product required APVMA registration before it could be legally sold and that they should stop supplying the product.
A follow-up investigation found that the business was still supplying the product and the APVMA issued two infringement notices totaling $11 250 for the possession and supply of the unregistered product.
Dr Parker said that taking action against non-compliant operators was just one aspect of running a comprehensive compliance and monitoring program.
“Our approach includes a range of education tools to ensure companies are aware of their legal responsibilities and to help people comply,” Dr Parker said.
“The fines we’ve issued to this business demonstrate that the APVMA will not tolerate deliberate non-compliance that puts people, animals and the environment at risk.”
In addition to paying the infringement notices, the company is no longer supplying the product concerned.
Fish4Dogs takes bite out of growing Chinese market
The Chinese pet-care industry is one of the world's fastest-growing and a United Kingdom company that specializes in fish-based animal food is targeting the nation's rapidly expanding middle-class, and its love for pets.
Fish4Dogs from England's Worcestershire county, in the West Midlands, has been using e-commerce platforms to find Chinese customers who want good-quality food for their pets.
Fish4Dogs started selling pet food in the world's second-largest economy in 2010, after it was approached by Ocean Star at a time when the online Chinese company wanted to expand its business, from selling local pet-food brands to specializing in Western brands on its websites and in stores.
Fish4Dogs also sells on JD.com, one of China's major e-commerce platforms.
Graham Smith, Fish4Dogs CEO, said: "E-commerce is a key channel to market, which was used by Ocean Star to promote Fish4Dogs outside of the traditional pet-shop trade, and this has enabled the brand to be purchased in more rural areas of China. Social media is harnessed to allow 'word-of-mouth' to spread from one engaged consumer to another. Satisfied customers with healthy, happy pets spread their good news to prospective customers, about the benefits of feeding a fish-based diet to their dogs and cats."
According to data from China's National Bureau of Statistics, the nation has become the world's third-largest pet market, after the United States and Japan.
The country's pet owners spent 130 billion yuan ($19.35 billion - €16.5 billion) on their animals last year, up 21.4 percent year-on-year. China's pet industry could be worth more than 200 billion yuan ($29.9 billion - €25.5 billion) by 2020.
"The biggest challenge was where and how to start," Smith said. "The solution was to build sales, one city at a time. So, with a tailor-made strategy of having a technical pet nutritionist, plus sales resources, we did just that, focused on one city at a time, starting in Ocean Star's home city of Shenzhen. Then, over the years, we moved to Shanghai, Beijing, etc."
In 2017, Fish4Dogs was awarded the Queen's Award for its export success and rapid development of international markets.
Dogs are much more popular than other types of pet in China, where people prefer pedigree breeds and high-quality products, meaning other companies are likely to target the market, but Smith is not worried about competition.
"Fish4Dogs had the advantage of being a first-mover in using fish as the single protein source in dog food. Of course, and partly driven by our own success, other players are entering the market. We believe we are the original and best and continue to innovate to stay ahead of our competitors," Smith said.
Whales turn tail at ocean mining noise
Humpback whale 'spy hopping': Pic courtesy BRAHSS
A new international study has measured the effect of loud sounds on migrating humpback whales as concern grows as oceans become noisier.
University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science’s Dr Rebecca Dunlop said one of the main sources of ocean noise was oil and gas exploration, due to geologists firing off loud acoustic air guns to probe the structure of the ocean floor in search of fossil fuels.
“The study, titled The Behavioural Response of Humpback whales to Seismic Surveys (BRAHSS), involved an air gun array - as used for oil and gas exploration,” Dr Dunlop said.
Associate Professor Michael Noad from UQ’s Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory (CEAL) was also part of the whale-noise study’s international team of researchers from Curtin University, University of St Andrews, Sydney University and Newcastle University.
Dr Dunlop said it was unknown if, and how, the whales would also respond to the presence of the vessel towing the array as well as the array itself.
“It was unclear how humpback whales might react to the airgun sounds and whether the proximity of the disturbance was a concern as well as the received level,” she said.
The BRAHSS team investigated the animals’ reactions to strings of repetitively firing air guns as they were towed for an hour across the migrating whales’ path.
Two teams of volunteer observers on geographically separated Queensland Sunshine Coast beaches tracked the whales’ movements before airguns began firing, while guns were going off, and for an hour after. They did a series of ‘controls’ which measured the response of the whales to the vessel itself.
The BRAHSS team also look at very fine-scale movements and responses using small research vessels which deployed small suction-cup acoustic tags on a few of the whales.
Dr Dunlop said both distance and airgun level were important factors in determining the response, not just received level alone.
UQ research vessel Carmena“Within a certain distance, they did not show a clear avoidance reaction to the vessel alone, suggesting it was the air guns that triggered this reaction,” she said.
The project outcomes can be used to improve current mitigation measures to prevent adverse effects of seismic air gun noise on large whale behaviour.
Logan River prawn farmers reel in federal financial support
The Coalition Government is finalising contracts with the six prawn farm businesses affected by the outbreak of White Spot disease in the Logan River area of Queensland, giving the green light for $20 million in financial assistance to flow.
- Contracts being finalised for the $20 million prawn farmers’ assistance package
- Logan River prawn farmers will participate in a fallow period and not produce prawns for a season
- Australian prawn farmers agreed to establish a levy to repay $4 million of the package
- White Spot disease surveillance to recommence soon in the Moreton Bay area
- No White Spot detections outside of the Moreton Bay area
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the financial assistance will make a real difference to prawn farmers affected by the outbreak.
“The Coalition Government is delivering real assistance to where it is needed most, despite the refusal of the Queensland Government to participate or even facilitate the payments,” Minister Joyce said.
“This $20 million 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.”
Minister Joyce said although this is a positive milestone, there is still a long way to go in rebuilding the Logan River prawn industry and confirming the disease has been eradicated from our waters.
“The Coalition Government remains committed to working with industry and Queensland biosecurity officers to eradicate this outbreak and to get to the bottom of the source of the disease.
“Surveillance screening in the Moreton Bay area will recommence towards the end of August to determine whether White Spot disease has established in the environment.
“There have been no detections of White Spot disease outside the Moreton Bay area.”
Nick Moore of Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture, one of the affected prawn farmers, said the financial assistance would enable farmers in the Logan area to get on with the business of growing prawns once the fallow period is over.
“Australian farmers are some of the most resilient in the world and here is our chance to prove we deserve our membership of that elite club,” Mr Moore said.
“The vitally important thing, beyond the clean-up and rebuilding of prawn businesses affected, is to ensure this virus does not spread to other areas of Australia nor be imported into Australia beyond our biosecurity controls.”
Mr Joyce said 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.
“The Australian Prawn Farmers’ Association has given in-principle support for the establishment of the levy,” Minister Joyce said.
“I would like to thank the Australian Prawn Farmers Association and the affected prawn farmers for their positive and practical engagement in developing this arrangement, although there is still a way to go to put the industry wide levy in place.”
- The funding provided 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).
- Australia’s prawn industry (farmed and wild-catch) produces approximately 25,059 tonnes per year, with an estimated value of $358 million.
- White spot disease is a highly contagious disease for prawns and other crustaceans, but poses no risk to humans.
Helping to re-home Sydney Dogs and Cats Home
Zoetis donates 10,000 doses of Revolution® to help raise much-needed funds for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home
For the first time in 71 years, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH) is planning its relocation to a new, purpose-built facility, extending their service for Sydney’s lost and abandoned animals.
To complete the facility, the animal shelter has embarked on the biggest fundraising journey in SDCH history, with an initial target of $3 million dollars.
Zoetis is pleased to contribute to this important initiative and recently donated 10,000 doses of Revolution® flea and heartworm treatment and 1,800 doses of preventive care vaccines to SDCH valued at over $180,000.
“Each year, we have over 3,300 animals come through our doors, and the cost of preventative healthcare is enormous,” said Amanda Stokes, Head of Fundraising & Partnerships.
“This donation from Zoetis means we will be able to redirect significant funds from our operational costs to our relocation fundraising goal,” added Ms Stokes.
“Once built, the new facility will ensure we continue to lead the way in best-practice animal welfare while further developing our programs, which help to enrich the lives of community members in need”.
SDCH will continue to focus on aged and disability care initiatives and programs to benefit youth living with mental illness. They will also expand their rehabilitation program with the Australian Army, which sees injured recruits joining their volunteer program,
“We were extremely fortunate to attend Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in Carlton and see first-hand the amazing work this team is doing for animal welfare and our community,” said Stephanie Armstrong, Corporate Volunteer and Companion Animal and Equine Business Unit Director, Zoetis.
“Every day I work alongside people who are passionate about animal health, and having the chance to see our contribution make a difference to this charity was very rewarding,” she added.
Zoetis is committed to helping address real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for farm and companion animals, by providing medicines, vaccines and diagnostics to shelters.
This contribution also extends to corporate volunteering, where time and skills are donated to create positive change in the Australian community.
Independent review confirms value of the ASBFEO
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, which was established in March 2016, has welcomed the findings of an independent legislative review into the office.
Independent reviews are required under the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Act.
The first independent review was led by Ms Su McCluskey, with support from a secretariat provided by the Nous Group.
Stakeholder consultations were held with Commonwealth and state/territory agencies whose functions impact small businesses and family enterprises, also with state small business commissioners and industry organisations.
“It is clear that the ASBFEO has undertaken its advocacy function highly effectively and, in doing so, has filled a gap at the Commonwealth level,” the review states.
“The ASBFEO has effectively conducted a range of advocacy activities, including inquiries into important national issues.
“It has progressed its advocacy agenda through its strong relationships with other government agencies at both the Commonwealth and state/territory levels.”
Ombudsman Kate Carnell said she was pleased the review found the ASBFEO has undertaken its assistance function in a similarly effective way to its advocacy.
“I’m pleased the review recognises that the ASBFEO offers ‘significant value for money’ through flow-on benefits to other agencies and jurisdictions,” Ms Carnell said.
“My office is working closely with government departments to implement recommendations regarding early engagement on policy development and legislation that impacts the small business and family enterprise sectors.
“We have also begun implementing recommendations to further raise the profile of the office and establish forums to directly engage with more small businesses.
“Our recent policy forum was the first of many which will bring small business organisations together to develop a common position on issues of mutual interest.”
The review also found that the ASBFEO has assisted small businesses and family enterprises without increasing duplication or jurisdictional shopping.
New report tackling the fight on antimicrobial resistance in Australian animals
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) today released a report on antimicrobial resistance in animals in Australia that extends our knowledge for regulating this global health and welfare concern.
APVMA Chief Scientist Dr Phil Reeves said that the Antibiotic resistance in animals report reviews the current status and describes the chemical regulator’s role in reducing the future incidence of antimicrobial resistance.
“This flagship report will help inform best practice guidance and science-based approaches to ensure the ongoing responsible use of antibiotics in animals for the protection of people, animals and the environment,” Dr Reeves said.
The report highlights the importance of a One Health approach, involving human, animal and environmental health sectors, to help minimise the emergence and spread of so called super bugs from animals to humans, the environment and vice versa.
Australian Government agencies including the APVMA, Department of Health and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and other key representatives from the human and animal health, food, agricultural and environmental sectors are already undertaking activities in this space, with the implementation of Australia’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015-2019.
Dr Reeves said the APVMA will continue to work collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure the responsible regulation of antibiotic use in animals.
“We’re conscious that whatever measures are taken, they must continue to support the health and welfare of our companion animals and the productivity of our livestock industries,” Dr Reeves said.
Both Australia’s Chief Medical and Chief Veterinary Officers have reviewed the APVMA’s report authored by Emeritus Professor Mary Barton AO of the University of South Australia.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, said the report makes a very well-considered ‘One Health’ contribution to support the implementation of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.
“The APVMA plays an important role in strengthening Australia’s efforts in antimicrobial stewardship across all animal sectors where antimicrobials are used, including supporting the prudent use of antibiotics,” Professor Murphy said.
“Emeritus Professor Mary Barton AO has provided significant contribution to Australia’s efforts to effectively respond to antimicrobial resistance, not only through this report, but over many years of championing this important cause.”
Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp said this report provides a comprehensive national assessment of the issue of antibiotic resistance in animals from an Australian perspective.
“Veterinarians play a critical role in addressing antimicrobial resistance in both human and animal health. Professor Barton’s report is a very useful contribution to our understanding of this global issue,” Dr Schipp said.
Read the report and learn more about the APVMA’s regulation of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.