To protect dogs from the threat of Canine parvovirus, Upper Hunter Shire Council is seeking views on the introduction of a $20 fee to vaccinate dogs impounded for more than 24 hours.
If implemented, the new fee would cover the cost of vaccination and be payable by the dog owner when the animal is released from a Council animal shelter.
Council is also developing a policy about the
waiving of fees in the case of financial hardship, which will be placed on
public exhibition separately.
Environmental and Customer Services Director Mat Pringle said Canine parvovirus vaccinations could save the lives of many dogs.
“Canine parvovirus is highly contagious and many Councils and animal shelters already vaccinate dogs,” Mr Pringle said.
“Upper Hunter Shire has managed the virus through regular cleaning and disinfecting of animal shelters. Now we are taking another step up to protect dogs in our care and in the community.
“Vaccinating a dog that has already been vaccinated against Canine parvovirus does not pose a risk to the animal’s health.
“A new outdoor exercise area has been established at the Scone animal shelter, which is great for the well being of the animals. A vaccination process will reduce the risk of this grassed area being infected and spreading the virus. Impounded dogs will still be kept in isolation pens for the first 24 hours.
“While the immune response to the vaccine takes around two weeks to work, the experience of other shelters suggest that it is still an effective way to reduce the spread of the disease in the community,” he said.
The Council initiative to vaccinate impounded dogs was welcomed by Scone Pet Medical veterinarian Peta Gay Railton.
“Parvovirus vaccination is very effective and we can eradicate this disease,” Dr Railton said.
“Vaccinated dogs do not shed virus. In a dog that is shedding parvovirus, 1gram of faeces can contain enough virus to infect 1000 dogs. The virus can survive for months on clothing and a year in the environment so people will often walk the virus around town. This is about the health of all dogs in our community and the solution is so simple, vaccinate! “
In the last year 119 animals were impounded at Upper Hunter Shire animal shelters. Owners that ensure their dogs and cats are microchipped, registered and contact details are up to date, often avoid their pets being impounded for long, as Council is able to contact the owner.
Council is seeking comments from members of the community in relation to the draft amended 2016/17 Fees and Charges Schedule which is available for inspection at Council’s Offices and on Council’s 'Do it online - Say it' page.
Written submissions are invited from members of
the public, and should be addressed to the General Manager. The deadline for
submissions is 7 October 2016.
Upper Hunter Shire Council
Phone: 02 6540 1100
Fax: 02 6545 2671
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.