Gold Coast pet owners are being encouraged to “Desex-ify” their pets.
A State-wide animal de-sexing campaign called Operation: WANTED will be launched by RSPCA Qld this weekend and will see over 170 vets reducing their de-sexing fees by at least 20% for a period of three months.
Last year it’s estimated that 20,000 extra animals were de-sexed during the campaign and this year RSPCA Qld are hoping the numbers will top 30,000.
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“There is a massive pet over- population all over Queensland and of course Australia, “said RSPCA Qld spokesperson Michael Beatty. “Nearly 45,000 animals come into our care every year and the vast majority of these have not been de-sexed. We’ve got to get the message out there.”
“The reason we have such a massive feral cat and wild dog population is because people were not and are not de-sexing their pets. If we don’t keep these numbers in check it will dramatically impact the environment. In fact feral cats and wild dogs are already doing exactly that. ”
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Dr Steven Miles said feral cats in particular were responsible for terrible damage to native animal populations, almost wiping out bilbies at Currawinya and Astrebla Downs National Parks. “As an indication of the scale of the problem, since 2012 at Astrebla Downs the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has removed around 3000 feral cats in a $350,000 pest management program to help protect the endangered bilby,” Dr Miles said. “Feral cat programs also occur in other national parks, including Idalia National Park to help protect the bridled nail-tail wallaby.
“Anything that responsible pet owners can do to reduce this threat to our native wildlife – both in our national parks and in our own backyards – will help to make a real difference to our environment and this simple de-sexing procedure is a very good place to start,” he said.
The advantages to having you pet de-sexed are enormous:
•No risk of unwanted litters
•Reduces desire to roam
•Reduces risk of some cancers
•Reduces other unwanted behaviours such as urine spraying (cats)
•Cheaper Council registration fees
•Allows pets to be healthier and happier
Apart from the financial and responsible pet ownership incentives to persuade people to de-sex, there are prizes up for grabs durign the campaign including a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a pet friendly holiday by the beach for a week.
For more information and to find out which vets are participating you can go to www.operationwanted.com.au