Government's Response to the Citizens' Jury Recommendations

The Government has provided a response to the Citizens' Jury's recommendations. We want to hear your feedback on the Government's response in the online discussion below.

Download the Government's response here.

 

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Leandra Ford

16 Oct 2015

I've just read a paper by Dr Katina D'Onise entitled "Desexing: The overlooked way to reduce dog attacks." It is important to note that Dr D'Onise is an epidemiologist in human medicine. She is not a veterinary behaviourist. What information has the D&CMB obtained from veterinary behaviourists? In this paper by Dr James O'Heare, who is an expert in canine behaviour, he references some papers which indicate that desexing isn't the obvious solution that D&CMB is making it out to be. In some cases, dogs were more aggressive after sterilisation. http://www.shelbymarlo.com/canineneutering.pdf The fact that Dr D'Onise didn't reference these papers suggests that she has "cherry picked" her data to support either her or the government's point of view. I also note that Dr D'Onise quoted a 14 year old paper by Dr Karen Overall, stating that intact male dogs are more likely than any other group to have dominance aggression. Dominance is an outdated and erroneous concept in the field of dog behaviour these days. The most recent papers referenced are at least six years old. This is yet another reason why D&CMB should be seeking the advice of veterinary behaviourists.

Dr D'Onise is also advocating desexing dogs rather than educating people how to behave appropriately around dogs. Anyone familiar with root cause analysis knows that if all root causes are not addressed, then the problem cannot be prevented. With the information being published by the D&CMB, people can be misled into thinking that their desexed dogs are safe. The truth is that all dogs will bite given the right circumstances. Therefore it is irresponsible to promote desexing as a solution to dog attacks and it could even lead to people taking bigger risks with a desexed dog.

David Mussared

14 Oct 2015

I applaud the State Government for supporting compulsory desexing of new generations of cats, and for sensibly rejecting a trial of 'trap neuter release' for stray cats.

However, like many South Australians I remain deeply disappointed that the Government's response remains silent on the crucial issue of containing cats to their owners' properties at all times.

For the well-being of both cats and wildlife, all pet cats should be confined to their owners' properties at all times. The State Government's decision to ignore this issue means that it is now up to individual Councils to implement this reform via their own complex and time-consuming processes.

In practice the State Government has now condemned cat lovers and wildlife supporters to having to waste an enormous amount of time and energy working with multiple Councils over many years to persuade them introduce this inevitable and necessary reform, despite it being regarded as a 'no brainer' by the vast majority of the South Australian community.

In the meantime, fauna rescue workers will continue to deal with the consequences - maimed and tortured possums, bandicoots and birds etc. - roaming pet cats will continue to die and be maimed in large numbers by cars, other cats, dogs etc. and our endangered wildlife will receive no reprieve.

Government Agency

> David Mussared

14 Oct 2015

Hi David
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the proposals and your views on cat confinement.
Even though cat confinement is not currently being proposed as a legislative requirement, the Dog and Cat Management Board will continue to promote cat confinement as an important part of responsible cat ownership and will work with the RSPCA and AWL to develop an online test to assist prospective cat owners to understand the responsibilities of cat ownership.

Thanks again for getting involved in the discussion.
Dog and Cat Management Team