Citizens' Jury Report - have your say

The jury presented its report to the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources on Wednesday 12 August 2015. 

The Jury has made a comprehensive series of recommendations including:

  • compulsory de-sexing prior to sale
  • preventing pet stores from selling dogs and cats (unless they are being ‘rehomed’); and
  • the mandatory registration and licencing of breeders.

You can have your say on the Citizens' Jury report in the discussion below.

Comments closed

Helen Allsopp

07 Oct 2015

I agree with Adrian and would like to say that these recommendations are a very positive move in the right direction. I work at the Port Lincoln Animal shelter and we are inundated with stray cats and kittens (at all times of the year) but particularly prevalent right now. The microchipping and desexing of cats should be be mandatory unless they are a registered breeder. In addition I would just like to clarify that, from what I have observed over time, is that most dogs that come to us are not surrendered due to aggression but due to inadequate training, change of circumstances and most are not desexed or microchipped. We will be forever chasing our tails (pardon the pun!) if these changes to the system are not put into place and the public educated as to its importance.

Adrian WATKINS

25 Sep 2015

The jury report contains some first, tentative steps towards creating a zero cat culture in SA &, perhaps, Australia. Our fast-disappearing wildlife needs all the help it can get & so we cannot afford to have cats in our society. Even cats which are secure in cat enclosures escape occasionally.
I would like to have seen a recommendation for warnings on cat food packaging about the risk cats pose to our wildlife. This would place cat ownership in the same category as smoking, something our society has spent huge amounts of money on combatting.

Elaine Bladon

08 Sep 2015

The RSPCA should not be the body to register all dog breeders - breeders of purebred dogs are bound by the rules and ethics of DogsSA and this organisation should continue to be the controlling body where breeders of purebred dogs are registered and approved. Those breeders currently registered through a controlling body (be it canine or feline), should be registered/licensed through that body. Other people breeding dogs and cats should be licensed by some other independent body.
Whilst I agree that cats should be desexed at the point of sale or prior to handover to a new home, there are a wide range of health issues to consider for dogs which are related to early desexing. DogsSA registered breeders are bound by the ethics of their controlling body and are not allowed to breed from a dog or bitch before a specified age. The submissions made by DogsSA should be considered and implemented. If I had to desex puppies before they were sold I would not be selling any puppy under 10 months of age. This is unrealistic.
Compulsory microchipping (already mandated for DogsSA members/breeders) is a great idea, with no local council registration an important incentive for people to microchip their pets, but who will enforce this? Those who are responsible pet owners will do it, those who are not already responsible owners won't.
I also believe that a substantial subsidising of desexing needs to be implemented, especially in the beginning. If the RSPCA is the body registering breeders they should offer free or very cheap desexing to those breeders who they register.
I totally agree that pet shops should not sell any puppies or kittens - short term adoption displays through animal rescue organisations only.
Finally, look in the pounds and shelters - how many purebred dogs are in there? Hardly any because they are sold by responsible, registered breeders who 'vet' the homes their puppies are sold to. Look at the huge number of unwanted cats - because cats are cheap, disposable and undervalued by our society. We need to make pets more valued, encourage dog owners to become involved in one of the many dog sports (showing, herding, agility, obedience, tracking, dances with dogs etc) and provide incentives for responsible pet ownership.

Dianne Janes

03 Sep 2015

I appreciate the time and thought that went into this report, but there are some issues with suggesting that this problem can be fixed if pet stores only sell abandoned dogs. As someone who is interested in buying a dog, I have looked at every available dog shelter in SA. There are virtually no purebreed dogs, and few that would qualify as domestic companion dogs, in any of those shelters. The dogs that get dumped tend to be from aggressive breeds, cross breeds (it seems like nearly all are Staffy X) or very active working dogs (kelpie X). Some of these could perhaps be a great option for some people, but it's definitely not what many dog owners want or need.
Therefore pet stores will not have much luck rehoming shelter dogs into families and owners' homes that want a nice friendly cocker spaniel or golden retriever - those breeds are almost never abandoned and certainly not in the numbers demanded by the marketplace. The whole market would go underground and backyard sales and backyard breeders would skyrocket, as would interstate imports.
Animal welfare is critical, so there should be a role for established, regulated, responsible breeders to sell to buyers; but also a need for a breed-specific response and an analysis of the type of dogs that are being cross bred, dumped and destroyed and the type of owners who would do that. I'm worried buyers will find ways around this proposed type of regulation and the issue becomes worse.

YourSAy Team

27 Aug 2015

Hi everyone - thanks for taking the time to comment on the Citizens' Jury Dog and Cat Management report.

Sally Legg

26 Aug 2015

Clearly a high level superficial treatment of the issues and hopefully the details which were apparently discussed during the course of the meetings aren't lost in any final recommendation. In particular the issues pertaining to individual choice over desexing of animals to ensure maximum health benefits through not desexing to early. Responsible owners should be permitted to make their own decisions as to what is in the best interests on their animals.

Sandra Brown

20 Aug 2015

I recognise that the broader issues of dog breeding may be prime and that the devastation of our native fauna trying to survive in our residential area and being destroyed by domestic cats is not currently a major concern. Dogs at large are also a concern in areas where native vegetation exist as both owner and dog trample and destroy the native grasses valued understory and remaining habitat, often the small slow native fauna, unable to get away in time. I also have concerns for the community that do not own a dog, by choice, but have little option to walk in a park where dogs off lead frequent. It is further compounded when persons whom are frightened of dogs are unable walk in their district as few councils provide facilities for them. Perhaps this section of the community need to be as pushy and loud as some and speak up. However this section of the community is usually a quiet, polite passive type person whom rarely makes a public plea. Whilst I have been a dog owner most of my life, I respect and understand public space is for all and needs to be a safe place for our community. I seek you endevour to make our public places better managed and help protect our conservation areas so future generations can go see and appreciate what existed in areas, pre-settlement. respectfully Sandra Brown

Teri Kocbek > Sandra Brown

31 Aug 2015

Implementing - 'responsible' ownership is instrumental in reducing the number of cats breeding in our state along with reducing feral cat populations. It would also be difficult for the Government to mandate 24hr curfews without for eg. subsidies - for enclosures - or there could potentially be a mass dump of cats - this also contributing to feral cat populations.

Jane ALYCE-HUMPHREYS

15 Aug 2015

I also agree with compulsory desexing of both cats and dogs in the hope that it will decrease the number of unwanted dumped animals; and also hopefully stop the euthanasia of so many .

James Fisk

14 Aug 2015

I really like this report, and would like to thank the citizen jurors for their time and thought on this matter.
I like it, and would love to see it all implemented.

Bernice Wuttke

14 Aug 2015

Yes to compulsory de-sexing prior to sale and also a yes to compulsory microchipping
Most definetly a big yes preventing pet stores from selling dogs and cats etc....
" " " " " to the mandatory registration and licencing of breeders
Yes to encouraging pet bonds for those in rental accommodation. The amount of posts I see saying they cannot take their pets to the new rental place is very upsetting for Families when they have to part with their pets in 'most' cases.
Overall, I am happy with what I have read. I am just hoping that the Legislation is passed on all that the Citizen's Jury has put forward. South Australia needs to stand up and be counted in regards to Animal Welfare. The RSPCA continually get rubbished because as people say, "they do nothing"! Bottom line is they have not had the required Legislation to allow them to make people accountable for their animal abuse behaviour/actions. A big thanks to the Citizens' Jury. Hopefully our Minister for Environment and Natural Resources will see fit to take all on board.

Teri Kocbek

13 Aug 2015

On the Way to becoming a 'Responsible' S.A. : ) - Really well written by the Citizens Jury.- I completely agree with the report. Thank you also for giving the community the opportunity to share their views in relation to such important issues. Thank you.

Vanessa Jolly

13 Aug 2015

I agree with the report. This is what has been a long fighting battle. Would love to become the first state to do this makes SA relevant instead of being made a laughing stock. Many happy cheers to come

Joshua Davies

13 Aug 2015

Absolutely fantastic. Ultra progressive- makes me proud to be south australian!

Gail Fairlamb

12 Aug 2015

I agree with the report, but even more I like how easy it is to read. Great job jurors!