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"Not happy Jan" is synonymous with leaving your advertising booking too late to meet the deadline. It would be a shame to miss out on the first issue of the year of Pet Industry News. Deadline 23rd February.
New standards good for older owners of pets

Animal Welfare League Australia (AWLA) has welcomed the consumer focus of the Commonwealth’s new Aged Care Quality Standards and is urging the sector to embrace pet-friendly services that allow the elderly to remain with their own animals for as long as possible.

The 2017 AWLA Pets in Aged Care Study revealed that only 18% of Australia’s residential aged care facilities allow pets to reside with their owners and just 9% of in-home care providers say they offer pet-friendly services.

AWLA President Richard Mussell said the draft standards provided the perfect opportunity for the sector to implement a broader range of pet-friendly services throughout the community.

“Australia’s pet ownership rate (63%) is the third-highest in the world, just behind the United States (65%) and New Zealand (64%), and the proportion of Australians aged over 65 is continuing to grow.

Therefore, the aged care sector must respond to the increasing demand for services that keep owners and their pets together,’’ Mr Mussell said.

“Maintaining the human-animal bond has proven health benefits for the owner and their pet. It also reduces animal surrender rates to the rehoming, shelter and care services of AWLA’s six member organisations across the nation.’’

The Pets in Aged Care Study also revealed that up to 10,000 animals may have been surrendered because of elderly-related reasons throughout Australia in 2016.

Reasons included owner health, unsuitable pet accommodation at home, inability or unwillingness of family members to care for the pet, and a lack of financial means.

Factors stopping aged care service providers implementing initiatives that keep owners together with their own pets included an inability to fund programs, shortage of employees and volunteers who are able or willing to deliver support, and OH&S, financial or legal concerns.

Tasmania (35%) had the highest percentage of residential aged care facilities that consider allowing residents to keep their pets. Victoria and NSW had the lowest rate (14%).

For advice and information about pet-friendly aged care, visit the Positive Ageing in the Company of Animals website at or visit the AWLA website at

New On-Line Directory entry

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Melbourne vet and animal welfare advocate Dr Hugh Wirth dies aged 78
Dr Hugh Wirth with his two border terriers in 2011. Photo: Joe Armao

World-renowned animal welfare advocate and respected local veterinarian Dr Hugh Wirth, AM, died on Monday after living with Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade.
Dr Wirth is credited with numerous successful animal welfare campaigns including ending puppy tail docking and stopping the export of horses to Japan for slaughter.
He was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1985 and in 1997 was namedVictorian of the Year.
“Dr Hugh was a tireless worker and a forthright, strong leader who was not afraid to standup for what he believed was right,” RSPCA Victoria chief executive Dr Liz Walker said.
“He was passionate, incredibly knowledgeable and tenacious. Dr Hugh was at the forefront of many of the improvements we have seen in animal welfare in my lifetime.”
The beloved vet bought Balwyn Veterinary Surgery in 1967 and practised there for 47 years until he retired.
During this time, he became the first non-European president of World Animal Protection and was the trusted resident vet on ABC Radio Melbourne’s Saturday morning show.
Dr Wirth was the president of RSPCA Victoria’s board from 1972 to 2015. He was also on the RSPCA Australia board for 35 years before stepping down due to ailing health three years ago.
In 2012 he told The Age that he had to quit his his long-time position as an inspector at the Royal Melbourne Show because his illness meant he was no longer so adept at dodging wayward cattle.
''I'm not dying or anything silly like that. I'm just not as good on my feet,'' he said at the time.
The same year he released his autobiography, My Life with Animals.
The book documented Dr Wirth's political battles with 1960s RSPCA stalwarts, the Australian Veterinary Association and governments.
In the book, he claimed the federal government gave in to a push to set up an Animal Welfare Advisory Committee in 1980 when then conservation minister Vasey Houghton fell asleep in a meeting.
When he awoke, says Dr Wirth, Mr Houghton asked, ''Now, where were we?'' to which Dr Wirth said he and RSPCA colleague Peter Barber replied: ''Well, Minister, you just agreed to form the AWAC.''
RSCPA Victoria said despite his declining health, Dr Wirth remained involved with the organisation in recent years as its patron and as a member of its Animal Welfare Policy Committee.
“Dr Wirth leaves an incredible legacy,” Dr Walker said.
“RSPCA Victoria will treasure his memory and honour his work by continuing to advocate for the continual advancement of animal welfare in our society.”
 Source: The Age

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A compromised Christmas for retailers last December
Tuesday 6 February 2018: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said December 2017 trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) represent a conservative Christmas instead of the merry Christmas retailers had in mind, with a 2.49% total growth year-on-year.
Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said although the ARA and Roy Morgan predicted a 2.8% increase in pre-Christmas sales, from November 15 to December 24, 2017, these figures are not too far off the mark.
“Every year the ARA and Roy Morgan work together to produce the only professionally industry researched Christmas predictions in Australia, and we believe the figures released today are in the ball-park,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“As our predictions are based over a six-week period, the ARA and Roy Morgan will be analysing the November and December trade figures together to determine the actual pre-Christmas sales result.”
Although Cafés, Restaurants and Takeaway Food represented the highest year-on-year growth with a 3.85% increase, this category has slowed down from November, as more Australians spent time with family and friends indoors over the Christmas holidays. 
“Online retail has also slowed down in December representing a 1.25% increase as many consumers might have been concerned about delivery timings so close to Christmas,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“The most concerning category of them all was Clothing Footwear & Personal Accessories as this category represented a shockingly low 0.39% year-on-year growth, with international fashion retailers increasing their Australian presence.”
The ARA also saw Department stores suffer a -0.30% sales decline, led by weakness in clothing, footwear and apparel sales.
“This low growth isn’t being helped by the constant and unsustainable rent increases from landlords, especially where sales growth is running below inflation,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Across the country, Victoria (4.46%), South Australia (4.34%) and New South Wales (2.74%) showed the strongest year-on-year growth of all the states. While both Tasmania (1.99%), the Australian Capital Territory (1.25%) and Queensland (1.05%) remained steady. Unfortunately, Western Australia (-0.49%) and the Northern Territory (-1.74%) received negative figures in December.
“The shining light over the festive season was that consumers celebrated the holidays with family and friends - this was illustrated by the strong growth in liquor sales with an outstanding 6.08% year-on-year increase,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Although these figures are more conservative than retailers would have liked, we are hopeful that the improving economy will spur growth for retailers across the country in 2018.”
The volatility in the Australian retail sector signals the importance of strong, accurate leadership. The ARA is the only retail association constantly working to move retail forward. To view the ARA and Roy Morgan’s Annual Pre-Christmas Sales Predictions for 2017 please click here.
Monthly Retail Growth (November 2017– December 2017 seasonally adjusted) 
Food retailing (0.72%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.08%), Cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.12%), Department stores (-0.64%), Other retailing (-1.79%), and Household goods retailing (-2.58%).
Queensland (-0.04%), South Australia (-0.31%), New South Wales (-0.39%), Northern Territory (-0.65%), Victoria (-0.75%), Western Australia (-0.81%), Australian Capital Territory (-1.51%), and Tasmania (-1.59%).
Total sales (-0.49%).
Year-on-Year Retail Growth (December 2016 – December 2017 seasonally adjusted)
Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (3.85%), Household goods retailing (2.98%), Food retailing (2.85%), Other retailing (1.90%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.39%) and Department stores (-0.30%). 
Victoria (4.46%), South Australia (4.34%), New South Wales (2.74%), Tasmania (1.99%), Australian Capital Territory (1.25%), Queensland (1.05%), Western Australia (-0.49%) and Northern Territory (-1.74%).
Total sales (2.49%).
Exotic lemurs settling well after completing biosecurity clearance

Two female Ring-tailed lemurs from New Zealand have spent the Christmas holidays settling into their new home in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley Zoo, after completing their biosecurity clearance.
Head of biosecurity operations at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Nico Padovan, said the pint-sized additions will be matched to eligible suitors, to ensure the captive population size remains healthy.
“These two lemurs will add gene variety to the zoo’s current population of Ring-tailed lemurs, which is important for species conservation, as shown in wild lemur colonies,” Mr Padovan said.
“Biosecurity officers work closely with zoo officials even before animals selected for import begin their journey to Australia, to ensure they aren’t carrying any harmful pests or diseases that could impact wild or domestic animal populations in Australia.
“The new additions spent several weeks in quarantine on arrival in Australia, in line with our strict biosecurity import conditions, which are designed to protect not only Australian animals, but also farmed and native plant species.
“It’s pleasing to see they have cleared this important step, to join their new zoo family and entertain visitors with their antics.
“Our strong biosecurity system enables Australian zoos to safety import animals, and conserve exotic species for future.
“Our biosecurity arrangements minimise the risk of exotic diseases threatening our health, animal health and agricultural industries. Without these we wouldn’t be able to visit a zoo to see these fascinating animals up close.”
Last year the department also managed biosecurity arrangements for the import of a Fiordland crested penguin from New Zealand to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, and four cheetahs from the United Kingdom to Queensland’s Darling Downs Zoo.
Aussie businesses’ perception of the economy highest in 7 years

6 February 2018: The overall assessment of the economy has reached its highest level since December 2010. Almost three in ten (29%) small and medium businesses (SMBs) believe the economy is growing. This is nearly double the proportion who believe it is slowing (15%), resulting in a net balance score of (+14). This is according to the latest Sensis Business Index (SBI) survey.
Small business confidence also remains high despite a small decrease in confidence this quarter. There was a four point decrease in business confidence since last quarter – dropping from net +46 to +42 (59% confident – 17% worried). This is equal to the third highest confidence level recorded since March 2011.
Sensis CEO, John Allan said: “Small and medium businesses positivity about the economy continues its trend upward since June last year. Small businesses are telling us that the values of sales, prices charged and profitability are the areas they are most positive about in the year ahead.”
The Index, which reflects the views of 1,000 small and medium businesses from across Australia, also revealed that small business views of the Federal government have become negative for the first time since March 2017. Businesses saying Federal Government policies are supportive fell (18% to 17%), while those saying policies work against small business increased (15% to 20%). The net balance was down 6 points to -3.
Despite positive business confidence and perceptions of the economy, support for the Federal Government has fallen into negative territory for the first time in nine months. Small businesses who are unimpressed with Federal Government policies cite too much bureaucracy, and a focus on big business which has increased by 5 points, from 13 to 18%. 
“Small businesses are telling us that access to finance was more difficult than last quarter, or at this time last year – decreasing 12 points to a net balance of +1, 14 points lower than December 2016,” said Mr Allan.  
SMBs are finding it hardest to access finance in the Northern Territory returning a score of -10. It’s a similar story in Western Australia and Queensland with -8 and -2 scores in each. In terms of access to finance, Victoria is leading the way with small businesses reporting a score of +10.
Across the nation, business confidence was lower in each state but Tasmania, where it increased 10 points to +60 and in Queensland where it was one point higher at +43. Tasmania became the most confident state or territory while the Northern Territory remained the least confident, also recording the biggest decrease in confidence, down 14 points to +12.
Capital city confidence is again highest in Hobart (up 13 points to +65), followed by Sydney (up 6 points to +54). The least confident cities are Darwin which fell 13 points but still trails the rest with +15, and Adelaide which dropped 16 points to +29.
Metropolitan business confidence continues to outpace regional, by 9 points (+46 versus +37). This is despite confidence falling faster in metropolitan areas, down 4 points where regional confidence fell by 2 points.
Confidence remains relatively high in all sectors except transport and storage and retail trade, which both found conditions tough in the last quarter. Despite this, retail trade is showing some signs of a turnaround for this quarter and for early 2018.
At the state and territory government level, the only favourable ratings were for the Tasmanian, NSW and NT governments. The SA government remains the most widely criticised by SMBs.
New study confirms Hendra vaccine does not affect racing performance
A study conducted by the University of Sydney has confirmed that vaccination against the deadly Hendra virus does not affect the performance of racing horses.
President of the Australian Veterinary Association’s equine group, Dr Ben Poole, says the study, which was funded by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), will hopefully reassure those who are involved in the horseracing industry that the Hendra vaccine is safe, has no negative effects on racing performance and it is the best way to help prevent deadly Hendra Virus disease in horses and people.
“The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) commends the QRIC on the proactive measures it has taken recently to ensure that horseracing is a safe sport in Australia – funding this ground-breaking study is certainly one of those measures.
“We echo Commissioner Ross Barnett's concern regarding the number of horses that have not been vaccinated against Hendra virus and the potential effect on horse welfare that not vaccinating can have on racing horses.
“Precautions must be taken by horse owners, handlers and veterinary staff to minimise the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses and people. Vaccination of horses against Hendra virus is the cornerstone of these precautions.
“Based on this latest study, which involved data from 1154 Thoroughbreds over 12,066 race starts, we can all be confident that vaccinating only brings health and welfare benefits to the racing community. It should dispel rumours that vaccination affects performance,” Dr Poole said.
The QRIC also recently announced that owners will also be given the option to receive the first Hendra vaccination free of charge, to encourage a greater uptake of vaccination.
“We applaud the Commission for the action they’re taking to protect the community from Hendra and we encourage other industry bodies to follow the example of QRIC,” Dr Poole said.
The AVA recommends that all horses located in regions known to, or likely to have Hendra virus spill over events, be vaccinated against the disease. If horse owners are unsure about the recommendation in their area, they should consult their veterinarian.
The study has been published in the Australian Veterinary Journal and is available online at here.

Thanks to an agreement with Artis Expo, Zoomark International is proud to present Zoomark in Russia, the international area of the ParkZoo trade fair in Moscow

Zoomark International continues expanding its operations abroad.
Using the brand Zoomark in Russia, the company is set to curate the international area of ParkZoo, the pet industry trade show to be held at the Sokolniki Congress and Exhibition Center in Moscow from 19 to 21 September 2018.

The aim of the area is to offer the Russian market an international overview of the industry, and to this end it will host exhibitors from Europe and the rest of the world.

The project is part of the international development strategy formulated by BolognaFiere, one of the major international players. As President Gianpiero Calzolari underlined: "The pace of modern life means that you have to be where things are happening, and even in the era of the internet, there is no substitute for bringing people together. BolognaFiere was the first in Italy to reach out to an increasingly globalized market, offering domestic companies new opportunities in emerging markets."

Natalia Morgunova, exhibition director of Artis Expo (the company that organizes ParkZoo), commented:  "We are delighted to enter into this partnership with BolognaFiere and Zoomark International and welcome Italian and foreign companies to Parkzoo. This collaboration will be a dynamic growth opportunity for both our events."

Russia is a country with great potential. After a period of recession, the economy is now showing key signs of recovery. In particular the market for pet products, which had dipped slightly, is now growing steadily once more. Between 2015 and 2016 the pet market registered a 8.4% increase in turnover, with a value of 1,813 billion dollars. Over the next five years (2017 to 2021) we can expect to see an average annual growth of 10%, with a turnover of 3,038 billion dollars (data processed by Zooinform).
The company in charge of selling booth space and providing assistance to Italian and international exhibitors is Promopet, which is responsible for the operational management of Zoomark International, Italy's only pet industry trade show.
Doggy want a (high-fibre, all-natural, organic) biscuit?
-IBISWorld reveals premium pet foods fuelling new markets for pet-care sector-
According to IBISWorld, the composition of pet food manufacturing and sales is changing, due to an increasing number of pet owners treating their pets like family members.
“Pet humanisation – whereby pets are being treated more like humans than animals – is becoming increasingly common,” said IBISWorld Senior Analyst Sam Johnson. “As Australian consumers become progressively more concerned about their own health, particularly in relation to their diets, they are also becoming more concerned about the diet of their pets.”
“Furthermore, pet owners are growing increasingly concerned about purchasing and consuming products that have their sources identified, as well as ensuring these products are made from ingredients perceived to be natural and of high nutritional value. This trend is giving rise to new markets for pet food and other pet-related products.”
Although total pet ownership numbers in Australia are declining, ownership of dogs and cats, which are the largest pet categories and involve the highest average spend per pet, is rising. This is largely in line with growth in the number of households. The number of dogs in Australia is expected to exceed five million in 2018, while the number of cats is anticipated to exceed four million, both up from five years ago.
While growth in the overall pet population has fallen, IBISWorld expects increased sales of premium pet foods to boost the value of pet food production in Australia to $1.7 billion in 2017-18, up from $1.5 billion five years prior.
Pet food imports to Australia ($ millions)
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
276.3 320.5 312.0 371.5 378.5 386.4

This emerging trend presents a significant opportunity for the local industry. However, Australian producers have been relatively slow to capitalise on it, particularly compared with competitors in countries such as France, Hungary and New Zealand. Pet food produced in these countries is often sold at higher prices and incorporates new and premium ingredients, such as salmon, fibre and antioxidants. Furthermore, ingredients that are perceived as harmful, such as grains, are not used.
“Despite the push of the Australian Made campaign, which encourages consumers to buy domestically produced products, IBISWorld expects the value of pet food imports to increase at an annualised 6.9% over the five years through 2017-18,” said Mr Johnson.
In addition to pet food, dog and cat owners spend their pet budgets on a range of products and services, from veterinary services and pet healthcare products, to grooming, training, accessories and insurance.
“As pet humanisation becomes more common, expenditure is rising across the range of pet-related spending categories. For example, the average dog owner is expected to spend over $150 on accessories for their pet in 2017-18. Meanwhile, pet insurance expenditure has grown particularly strongly over the past five years,” said Mr Johnson.
At the other end of the market, lower cost pet food producers are facing strong price competition from large players and imports. The significant market shares held by major players Mars Australia, VIP Topco and Nestle Australia keep price competition fierce. Combined, these companies are estimated to account for over 85% of the Pet Food Production industry. Operators in Thailand generally produce lower cost pet food, and pet food from this country still accounts for a significant share of domestic pet food sales.
Private-label pet foods produced by major supermarkets and retailers have also contributed to strong price competition. This is creating a division in the Pet Food Production industry, where large producers dominate the low-priced end of the industry, and smaller niche producers are performing well in response to changing pet owner preferences.

Top 12 pet food markets 2012 versus 2017


In 2017, the United States pet food market remained the largest in the world by a strong margin.

In 2017, the United States pet food market remained the largest in the world by a strong margin, despite rapid growth by developing nations, said Jared Koerten, senior food analyst at Euromonitor International, during his presentation at the International Processing and Production Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on January 30, 2018. See how the top 12 global pet care markets changed from 2012 to 2017 in the infographic below.

“What's interesting is that even though we have some very strong growth in these emerging markets, the US has been holding certain,” he said “Over the past five years, it's share has only fallen from 44 percent down to 42.”

Some of those fast growing pet care markets include Brazil, Mexico, China and Russia. Since 2012, Brazil replaced the United Kingdom as the second largest pet care market. Mexico grew to beat out Canada’s pet food market to become the second largest in North America. The Mexican pet food market now ranks tenth with Canada in eleventh place. Formerly in ninth place, Russia moved up to become the seventh largest pet food market.

Strong, consistent growth in US pet food market

However, these gains weren’t enough to put any other pet food market anywhere near the United States in terms of sales.

“Again, the US has been healthy,” Koerten said. “It has been growing even as some of these emerging markets really explode with some very strong growth. When we look at year over year growth in the US, we see what I call a model of consistency.... This is very consistent year-on-year growth.

“I've gone all the way back to 2005 here, we're seeing four, five, six percent growth each and every year for more than a decade,” he said.

Koerten compared the US pet care market to other consumer packaged goods (CPG) markets. He found that pet care beat many other industries, such as packaged foods and tissue and hygiene.

“So anyone in CPG who would sort of pick an industry to be in, pet would definitely be one to think about and to target given the strong consistent growth we see,” he said.

2012 2017  
1 1 USA
6 2 Brazil
2 3 United Kingdom
4 4 Germany
3 5 Japan
5 6 France
9 7 Russia
7 8 Italy
8 9 Australia
11 10 Mexico
10 11 Canada
19 12 China

Source: Pet Food
Euromonitor International
Copyright © 2018 PETNEWS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, All rights reserved.

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