Statewide calls for tighter controls of boarding kennels

THE mauling death of a dog at Cooranbong has led to statewide calls for tighter controls of the boarding kennel industry.

KILLED: Annie the bichon.

KILLED: Annie the bichon.

Annie, a five-year-old bichon frise, was killed during a stay at Pelgate Kennels, at Cooranbong, on December 28.

It appears Annie was killed when a dog grabbed her through a small hole in the fence separating their enclosures (see story page 3).

Pelgate Kennels declined to answer the Lakes Mail’s questions on the matter, but said it was cooperating with the relevant authorities.

Annie was the third dog to die in Hunter boarding kennels in three days.

Animal activist Jayne Cvetanoski, of Mayfield, said the deaths highlighted the need for boarding kennels to be more strictly regulated.

“Currently in NSW and around other Australian states boarding kennels are not being properly overseen,” Ms Cvetanoski said.

“We’re asking for animal welfare agencies like the RSPCA to get more involved in the kennels and undertake inspections of these kennels regularly.”

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has a “NSW Animal Welfare Code of Practice No 5 - Dogs and cats in animal boarding establishments”.

But animal activists say the document is not binding, and its conditions are not enforced.

“We are pushing the RSPCA to act on this and call now for a standard code of practice to ensure a standard level of care for animals in all animal boarding kennels,” Ms Cvetanoski said.

Campaign supporter Bettina Bettington told the Lakes Mail there was currently no operational framework in place to enable the code of conduct to be implemented.

Without that operational framework, and an agency to implement it, the code would remain “a lame duck piece of legislation”.

“But we don’t want to put kennels out of business because they provide a very valuable service. I just don’t think most kennels know the code exists,” she said.