Let’s face it, few of us can imagine our pets as anything other than the cuddly, obedient companion animals they are when they are with us.
But, however much we love our own pets, the reality is that unchecked dogs and cats can do considerable damage to native wildlife in a short space of time.
And even the most vigilant of us could do with a few tips to make sure our pet’s behaviour doesn’t harm native animals or their habitat.
A half-day seminar on Saturday December 6 will examine just these issues and help owners to identify potential problems with their animals before it’s too late.
The Our Pets, Our Wildlife workshop, organised by the EDO, will take place at the Ocean Shores Country Club and will feature a series of presentations followed by discussion and questions led by a panel of experts on issues such as wildlife-friendly fencing, coastal bird protection, responsible dog ownership, and koala protection.
Talks will address local bird identification, habitat necessity and decline, native wildlife laws, laws relating to companion animals (pets), issues with dogs on our beaches, and sustainably sharing our habitat with local wildlife.
‘There has been an ongoing issue with dogs on beaches in Ocean Shores,’ says Geraldine Lockyer, president of Brunswick Area Responsible Canine Owners (BARCO).
EDO NSW solicitor Nina Lucas said that domestic animals and pet ownership practices can have a big impact on native wildlife and vice versa.
‘The privilege of sharing our lives with wildlife involves responsibilities. Awareness of sensible precautionary dog management strategies and knowing how to respond in the event of attacks on wildlife are really obligatory for everyone living in the northern rivers,’ Ms Lucas said.
‘In these circumstances, it is important to know your obligations as a pet owner.’
Angela Pollard, coordinator of the Animal Law and Education Project, added, ‘being a responsible owner also includes caring for your pet’s needs, including regular off leash exercise in a safe environment’.
The workshop will run from 10am – 1pm at the Ocean Shores Country Club, Orana Rd, Ocean Shores.