The Bible says in Proverbs 12:10, "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animals", and Ghandi is quoted as saying "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." This month I’d like to look at animal welfare, a subject very close to my heart.
The SPCA in New Zealand promotes the “five freedoms” of animals, and these also form the basis of the animal welfare act of 1999, so as a responsible animal owner you must give your animals:
1. Freedom from hunger or thirst
Every animal must always have access to clean fresh water. You must provide proper and sufficient food for good health and weight.
2. Freedom from discomfort and inadequate shelter
Shelter must be weather proof, free from drafts, wind, rain and full sun. Dogs must be able to stand up and comfortably be able to turn around in their kennel. In cold weather, animals need extra care and attention. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, in fact any animal, you must make sure it is warm and comfortable.
3. Freedom from disease and injury
Get prompt veterinary treatment if your animal is sick or injured. We recommend that your animal is kept up to date with their vaccinations, and you need to control internal and external parasites to keep them from getting sick. Also keeping their environment clean and free from hazards helps prevent injuries and disease.
4. Freedom from distress and pain
Always handle animals in a way that won’t injure or cause unreasonable pain or distress.
5. Freedom to display normal behaviour
You are obligated to meet your animal's behavioural needs and provide an environment in which they can display normal behaviour. Some good ways of doing this are adequate exercise, toys, scratching posts etc and an opportunity to play. Leaving a dog tied up for long periods is not acceptable.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to commend those involved in animal welfare work. This can often feel like a herculean task and we feel as if we are making so little progress, however by focusing on the good we can do our perspective will change. The story is told of a man walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.
As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water.
The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,"I am throwing these stranded starfish back into the ocean, before they die. "But", said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on many beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference."
The boy looked down, frowning for a moment; then bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied,
"I made a huge difference to that one!"
One way we can make a huge difference is by de-sexing our pets, and re-homing shelter animals. Also be aware of the new updates to the animal welfare regulations introduced over the last year. Keep up the good work!
We've created an online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions or pet food and other animal health products. You can also view invoices and statements as well as update your and your animal's details.
Now you can like us on facebook to receive regular updates (including the monthly news article) and interact with us online
Our new vet, Dr India Martin has started and we now offer an extra afternoon consulting in Diamond Harbour as well as home visits in Little River on Monday & Thursday afternoons for no extra charge compared to clinic visits. We have beautiful cat greeting cards available to help fund our kitten rehoming and stray cat desexing work. Thanks to Cat Rescue Christchurch who also generously pay for many of our surgeries on strays! You can hire stock signs for your car or to put on the road, as well as orange flashing beacons and hi-viz vests from us to comply with the new regulations when moving stock. We've put shingle down in the parking area and made it drive through so please park inside and tell us what you think! Also have you noticed our freshly painted roof?
We have a large of foods and animal health products, including the BlackHawk working dog food at great prices. Our cattery has proved very popular, and we've had many repeat customers. Masterpet has taken over the cattery's food sponsorship with BlackHawk cat and kitten food, we'd also like to thank Hills Pet Nutrition for their food sponsorship over the cattery's first 5 years.
We have an inhouse blood analyzer at the clinic, so we can run many tests while you wait. This allows us to offer pre-anaesthetic testing as well as health screening for older animals, and provide an emergency service afterhours and weekends when the Christchurch laboratory is closed. We also now have a portable ultrasound scanner, good news for pregnancy testing.
We once again have the cheap mismating injection available for bitches. This has been off the market for a few years now, but Paul has been able to have some compounded. We have some ideas to help you save on animal health expenses- ask us about very competitively priced BlackHawk farm dog food specially designed at Massey for NZ working dogs, and get to feed a premium, performance enhancing brand. Also the RFID electronic ear tags are now compulsory for cattle and deer. Ask us about ordering NAIT tags for your stock, or about the new tagging requirements. There is a lot more flexibility in what visible tags are acceptable- they don't all have to be yellow! We are able to procure eartags at below recommended retail prices.
We also have a large range of Acana/Orijen, Hills Science Diet and BlackHawk dog and cat food in stock. We can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and Thursdays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Animal health information - Archives
Please contact us if you’d like copies of any of these. Many are now available to view as posts on Paul's Linkedin page. Also let us know if you’d like to see any other topics featured here.
A different perspective, Animal welfare, Accidental poisonings, Arthritis, Allergies, Above & beyond, After Hours, Akaroa or bust
Becoming a vet, Becoming a veterinary technologist, Birthing & midwifery, Be wormwise this Autumn
Calici vaccination update- rabbits
Dental care, De sexing, Dogs, sheep measles & farm etiquette
External parasites, Euthanasia, EID's, Equine deworming recommendations & autumn animal health advice
First aid in animals. FIV and Feline Leukaemia, Five Freedoms
Happy to be stuck with you, Human-animal bond, Heat Stroke
Internal parasites, Is it too late to spay or neuter my pet? Internet & Google- the good the bad and the ugly, It shouldn't happen to a vet, I don't vaccinate my animals, Insights from a vet nursing student
Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, Mycoplasma bovis , Microchipping,
Nutrition, Nutrition in pet rabbits, New Year Animal Health Checklist
Obesity in pets, Onwards & upwards
Poisons in the pantry, primary health care, Plant poisonings, Pigs rule, Pig's Ear, Pathology & blood testing, Pet statistics in NZ, Phamaceuticals- the NZ situation
Rabbit calicivirus, Ramped up rhino, Resistance-squandering a miracle, Road block
Senior wellness, Sheep measles
Tapeworm, TB in NZ, The nasties, The big move, The Challenge of Diamond Harbour, The thief, The Driving Lesson, Technology at work, Tom cat vasectomy
Urinary problems in cats
Vets’ cars, vaccination principles- ruminants, Vaccination of dogs & cats, Vet lifestyler
War wounds, Why vaccinate?, World veterinary year, World vaccination guidelines, Wild & stray cats
Yoghurtised milk recipe