The Australian Institute of Animal Management have joined RSPCA Australia in lobbying the Federal Government Health Department to ensure that veterinary, animal management and animal sheltering and care services are classified as essential services, meaning that they would be exempt from COVID-19 related shutdowns.
In the submission made to Government, AIAM President, Brenton Thomass, said that it was vital to recognise frontline animal welfare and management services such as Local Government animal management departments and facilities, not for profit animal shelter and care centres, and veterinary clinics as essential services in the event the Government moves to implement community lockdown measures in response to COVID-19.
"The Australian Institute of Animal Management believes that Government and not for profit animal shelters/impounding facilities and animal management officers are essential entities that are relied upon to provide for the safety and well-being of animals and people in communities. Many organisations provide lifesaving medical care for homeless and owned animals while providing foster and adoption services completing families during this time of crisis. For most of our citizens animals are considered part of the family. With the support of animal welfare and animal management organisations and departments for animal-related issues, human services agencies can maintain focus on human-specific concerns."
AIAM have released a statement to encourage animal management and sheltering operations to reduce non-essential shelter/pound intake and prioritise operations that return pets in the field (prior to intake) or increase returns to owners once admitted to a facility. The statement also provides other advice regarding implementing strategies to reduce intake and support the community. You can view the statement here.