In the News

May 16, 2019: Australian Capital Territory Overhauls Animal Welfare Legislation

Under the legislation, “[p]et shops and boarding kennels will be licensed and all pets recognised as ‘sentient beings with intrinsic value’.” In addition, confining an animal, “or even transporting it in a way which causes it injury, pain or stress, will attract a maximum penalty of $16,000 and a year’s imprisonment. An identical penalty will apply for anyone who places an electric shock device on an animal, such as a shock collar.” Read article

April 22, 2019: Study Examines Canine Laterality

While some dogs are “left pawed” and some are “right pawed,” the study found that laterality did not appear to extend to canine lying/sleeping positions, as has been shown in other species. Read study

April 17, 2019: Study Examines Use of Normal and Abnormal Behaviors to Affect Motivational State

The study concludes that abnormal behavior usually indicates poor welfare, regardless of whether it was initially adaptive, but points out that sometimes abnormal behavior can also be functional – including to modify motivational state. This, in turn, “makes it likely that certain changes in behavior and physiology, often associated with feelings and emotions in sentient animals, will occur.” Read study

April 15, 2019: Study Finds Emotional Mirror Neurons in the Rat

Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience have tested the theory of empathy in rats and found the presence of mirror-like neurons in the rat’s anterior cingulate cortex that are responsive when other rats are observed undergoing a painful or unpleasant experience. The finding suggests that observing rats shared the emotion of the other rats and, according to Prof. Christian Keysers, the lead author of the study, “…this all happens in exactly the same brain region in rats as in humans.” Read study

April 10, 2019: New Survey to Research Cases of Shock Being Used on Pets without Owners’ Permission

In the wake of a number of recent news stories, the Pet Professional Guild Advocacy Committee is starting to collect data from pet owners who have had shock collars used on their pets without their permission. Pet owners who have experienced this are invited to complete this form.

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