New fix for animal welfare in Victoria | The standard


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The Victorian Government intends to improve animal de-sexing services as pet ownership rises amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Councils and nonprofits can apply for a portion of a $500,000 pool to fund low-cost cat and dog desexing services. The second round of the Animal Welfare Fund was launched to deal with the pandemic-related surge in pet ownership. Almost three in four Australian households have a pet, with the proportion of households with pets increasing from 61 to 69 per cent over the past two years. Cats appear to be the main target of the scheme, with the government warning that the cats start breeding at four months and can have up to three litters a year. A female and her offspring can produce thousands of kittens in just a few years. Agriculture Secretary Mary-Anne Thomas said the funding would help provide crucial de-sexing services and improve animal welfare. “We know how important pets are to all Victorians,” she said. In March last year, Melbourne-based Westside Community Desexing received $150,000 in the first round of the fund. His new clinic has abandoned nearly 5,000 cats since it opened in December. The clinic’s director, Penny Hocking, said desexing was the most cost-effective solution to cat overpopulation. The Victorian Government opens a separate $500,000 grant program for equine rehabilitation, housing and rescue. Australian Associated Press



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