As a responsible pet owner, keeping up with the latest developments in pet welfare is essential. This ensures that your pets are treated well and receive the best care possible. Here are some changes in Australia over the last few years that have improved the lives of your furry friends:
Changes to Pet Food Labelling
New food labelling laws introduced in 2017 have seen an overhaul of brands of pet food in Australia. For example, it is now mandatory for the country of origin to be included on all pet food labels. Furthermore, manufacturers must also provide a name and address on their products’ packaging.
The new animal welfare regulations require that ingredients listed on a product’s label are in descending order of weight; if two or more ingredients make up 99% of the product’s content, they will appear first on the list (and therefore be most dominant). Additionally, nutritional additives such as vitamins and minerals must also be labelled when present at 1% or higher levels within a given product.
Other changes made by these laws include increased warnings against feeding pets raw meat-based treats—which are now no longer legal unless deemed safe by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)—and mandatory information about preservatives used in pet food in Australia such as ethoxyquin.
The Benefits of a Raw Diet
A raw diet is more natural and nutritious, and better for the environment.
Studies have shown that a raw diet is more healthful than a cooked one, with many benefits, including:
- A higher nutrient content (such as antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins)
- Reduced risk of food-borne illness due to fewer bacterial contaminants in the meat
If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of feeding your pet a raw diet, consider this: Although it requires some additional energy usage during production and transport, the result is a product that can be safely consumed without fear of contamination from pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella. This eliminates waste associated with processing plants—including water used in washing carcasses before packaging them into consumer-ready cuts—while reducing methane emissions from landfills where discarded packaging materials would otherwise go if they weren’t recycled.
New Regulations on Microchipping
In March 2016, new regulations came into effect in Queensland and South Australia, requiring dogs to be microchipped before they can be registered. This has been successful in encouraging pet owners to microchip their pets.
Microchipping is a safe and effective form of identification that allows lost pets to be reunited with their owners within hours instead of days or weeks. It’s also a good idea for all cats and dogs because there are many circumstances where an owner may not want their pet back – if they become ill or dangerous, for example – but still wants them cared for by someone who knows what its needs are.
Changes to Breed Restrictions and Bans
As you may know, in the past, there have been calls for the introduction of breed-specific legislation. This would mean that certain breeds were restricted or banned outright by law.
However, in recent times there has been a lot of research showing that these sorts of policies do not work and can cause more harm than good. For example, they are expensive to implement and enforce, as well as being ineffective at actually addressing dog bite incidents.
Pet welfare is important, and these changes show how far the industry has come in recent years. Pet owners can be confident that they are doing their best to keep their furry friends safe.