Putting pet owners on the agenda in this state election

Media release date: 
Wednesday, 07 March 2018

In the lead up to the South Australia state election, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is calling on the incoming government to commit to making renting fairer for pet owners.

AVA President, Dr Paula Parker, said that with South Australia’s current healthy rental market, it’s important that strata laws and legislation are changed to accommodate people who have pets.

“Pets add a lot of value to our lives. Owning a pet brings a number of human health benefits, such as reduced stress levels, improvements in mental health as well as an increase in social support for individuals.

“One of the greatest barriers to pet ownership is landlords who don’t allow pets and body corporate or strata rules that exclude pets in multi-dwelling environments.

“In NSW and Victoria, state legislation has been changed to make pets in units permitted as a default position. This is in recognition of the important role that pets play in the wellbeing of the family and wider community. We’d like to see South Australia follow suit and change the strata legislation so that the keeping of pets is permitted. This would make renting fair for current pet owners or those who would like to own a pet but don’t have the option under the existing legislation,” Dr Parker said.

The AVA is also calling on the incoming government to dedicate more resources to biosecurity to better protect South Australia’s livestock industries, now and well into the future.

In a move that will help to improve animal health and welfare outcomes, the AVA is also calling for regulatory change that will allow South Australian veterinarians to use Computer Tomography (CT), a valuable tool within veterinary medicine.

A summary of AVA’s recommendations are:

  • That the default option in SA Strata legislation should be that the keeping of pets is permitted.
  • That the next government increase resourcing (including numbers of veterinarians) for animal biosecurity to ensure that it can meet the needs of the coming decade.
  • That the South Australian government recognise veterinary degree training as sufficient for licencing to operate a CT unit. Pending this legislative change, a suitable short course should be recognised as an appropriate condition for registered veterinarians to become licenced to operate CT equipment.
  • That veterinary nurses with the Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing be eligible to be licenced to operate x-ray equipment.
  • To phase out the use of enclosed yabby traps in freshwater habitats in favour of gear that is effectivity risk-free for air-breathing species.

A copy of the policy platform can be viewed here.


For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on (02) 9431 5062, 0439 628 898 or media@ava.com.au.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.

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