Saturday, May 14, 2016

Animal welfare survey, tips on pets apartments, and the AVMA speaks out against discrimination

Dog ridgeback cross pets in strata
How do you improve the lives of apartment-dwelling pets?

How can you help animals this week?

If you’re a vet, the World Small Animal VeterinaryAssociation’s Animal Wellness & Welfare Committee is seeking vets to complete a brief, painless survey. They will use data collected to develop animal welfare guidelines for veterinary practitioners. Visit here: 

It’s confidential, anonymous and takes about five minutes.

One of the key reasons for surrender of animals to shelters in Australia is the inability of the owner to find pet-friendly accommodation. This is a huge animal welfare issue and one that we can address, for example by changing strata regulations. It’s also fabulous to see some councils being really proactive.
SAT reader Kerry alerted us to the fact that the City of Sydney is hosting a Strata Paws workshop.

Hopefully other councils will follow suit. How good does this sound?
“Have you ever taken a pet’s eye view of your apartment? Simple changes can improve your apartment and keep your pet – and your neighbours – happy.The Strata Paws workshop is perfect if you’re moving with your pets into an apartment, have a new pet or are thinking about getting one. And it’s suitable for both owners and renters.You’ll explore useful case studies and pick up lots of strategies for dealing with pets – from design modifications through to bark busting toys.The workshop is designed to improve your pet’s everyday life and is useful for pet owners dealing with a pet conflict within a building.”
To find out more or register, visit here.

Finally, it was refreshing to see the American VeterinaryMedical Association release a statement about inclusion and acceptance of LGBTIQ members, veterinarians and clients.

"Veterinarians are compassionate, trustworthy and highly educated people. As it states in the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics, as health professionals seeking to advance animal and public health, veterinarians should strive to confront and reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination that may lead to impediments to access of quality animal and public health care for clients/patients. This also holds true for educational, training, and employment opportunities for veterinary colleagues/students and other members of the animal health care team. These forms of prejudice and discrimination include, but are not limited to, race; ethnicity; physical and mental abilities; gender; sexual orientation; gender identity; parental status; religious beliefs; military or veteran status; political beliefs; geographic, socioeconomic, and educational background; and any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.” 

The board did have to debate the merits of releasing a statement which was not directly about veterinary matters and might have been perceived as political, but it’s very positive that they did so. Unfortunately there remains far too much discrimination, bullying and harassment of people based on their gender and sexuality, and the harm this causes is enormous. We congratulate the AVMA for taking this position.