Monday, March 23, 2015

Snakes, Daycare and Animal Welfare

 Welcome to our exciting hub of constant activity.  Most know us for our trade shows but there is loads of other things going on behind the scenes.  At every Board Meeting a Summary is written listing activities and accomplishment to date that year.  The list is really quite nifty because it offers a snapshot of what happens in the industry and how PIJAC Canada helps to shape the Canadian pet industry.  So like the title says, “Snakes, Daycare and Animal Welfare” we have an interesting list to share.

RESOURCES - Call us Mastercraft, we love to build tools!
We are completely excited about what we have recently set in motion.

·         Development of Best Management Practices for pet retail operations – you asked for it, the government asked for it, the humane and veterinary sector asked for it and now it’s here. After three years of work we will be publishing an easy to use reference manual to help pet stores manage & improve operations.

·         Relaunch of our Habitattitude (invasive species) website – this great little Canadian gem launched in 2005 to help businesses and consumers identify invasive species and how to safely dispose of them has just been updated.

·         Re-launch of the Certified Companion Animal Specialist Program – user friendly, affordable, pet care training for Canadian pet professionals

ADVOCACY - The Heavy Lifting
We call this the heavy lifting portion of our jobs because next to the shows it is the biggest part of what we do.  We engage colleagues, legislators and even the opposition from around the world and around the country in conversation about industry and animal well being.  Here’s how we’ve been representing the industry

Were you aware these issues happened in 2014?
·         Proposed changes to the government’s pet food import policy
·         Funding opportunities for Canadian exporting companies
·         Possible salmonella contamination from pet reptiles and feeder rodents

PIJAC Canada worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to ensure the interests of impacted pet businesses were represented and issues resolved all the while keeping them informed of critical changes that would significantly affect their businesses.

For all you reptile lovers, we are also presently working with the Public Health Agency of Canada at proper messaging to address the issue of salmonellosis associated with pet reptiles and feeder rodents with a focus on awareness and safe handling.

Snakes, Daycare and Animal Welfare
·         Quebec – The regulation amending the safety and welfare of dogs and cats regulation came into effect in late 2013 and PIJAC Canada maintains its involvement with the provincial animal welfare group and sits on the provisional Board of the newly created Animal Welfare Foundation (Fondation BEA).

·         Ontario -   We have been working with the Ontario Ministry of Community Affairs and Correctional Services as part of their team working Ontario’s exotic animal regulation review exercise.

·         We are part of a task force to help establish guidelines for pets in day nurseries. PIJAC Canada will working with a variety of stakeholders under the direction of the Ministry of Ontario Health and Long Term Care.

·         Atlantic Canada – Government officials from all four Atlantic Provinces have called for a review of their exotic animal regulations.  PIJAC Canada met with the New Brunswick Exotic Animal Review Task Force in late November to answer their questions and offer our assistance on this very important issue.
Grassroots Debate
PIJAC Canada has been involved in a number of municipal exercises, mostly dealing with a review of the responsible pet ownership bylaws. These can be some of the most contentious engagements we encounter due to the passion from all sides.  Our approach is simple: support, educate and collaborate.  Working at the grass root level is essential in engaging the community and making decision makers aware of all the facts on this very important issue.
Here are some of the municipalities we worked with in 2014:
Welland                              Oshawa               Ottawa                Kitchener-Waterloo           Rigaud                Quebec City        Gatineau                           Calgary               Richmond Hill                   Montreal                                               

Flexing Canada’s muscle on the world stage

·         Interzoo – Germany While hosting the Canadian Trade Pavilion at the world’s largest industry show PIJAC Canada met with other international pet industry associations (IPAC) to take the lead on the development of a global resource sharing system.

·         Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – Montreal  We participated in a working group reporting to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to showcase what the pet industry is doing internationally to address the issue of alien invasive species. (join effort with PIJAC USA and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association UK)

·         Top 2 Top – USA PIJAC Canada attended the 3rd annual Top 2 Top Conference (hosted by PIJAC USA) in April to compare notes on issues we share with our American neighbors and participate in training to stay on top of the latest industry intel. 

INFORMATION - Doing our homework
PIJAC Canada has been co-chairing a cross sector working group to investigate ways we can work together at promoting the incredible experience linked to pet ownership. With numerous studies about positive physical, mental and social impact pets have there is a wealth of support for the inclusion of animals in health programs. PIJAC Canada is leading the charge at identifying what constitutes a positive pet experience and equally what are the barriers to this experience by offering the results of our national survey free of charge.  A well matched pet and person make the world a better place and it’s our focus to help ensure positive and sustainable pet experiences.

Last but certainly not least we have jumped into our new strategic plan for the association building on what you’ve seen above, with the addition of some upcoming technological and traditional resources all aimed to helping your business succeed and improving the lives of pets.  Give us a call any time!

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