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NOVEMBER 6, 2018

Greencross board backs move to go private

The board of pet care company Greencross Limited is unanimously recommending that shareholders vote in favour of a proposed scheme implementation agreement that will see the 100 per cent of the business acquired by private investment firm TPG.

Petbarn-Store-Front-GreencrossThe scheme would afford shareholders $5.55 per share, with an implied equity value of $675 million; both below the rejected takeover offer made by TPG two years ago.

In 2016, TPG offered the business $6.45 per share, equalling a $736 million offer, which the pet care business turned down; stating it “fundamentally undervalues Greencross”.

However, shares in the company spiked after the announcement jumping from $4.54 a share late last week to $5.40 per share on Monday afternoon.

“In reaching our conclusion that the scheme is in the best interest of shareholders, the board has considered a number of alternatives, including standalone value creation opportunities and alternative proposals from other potentially interested parties,” Greencross chairman Stuart James said in a note to investors.

“Upon assessing the alternatives before it, the Board has unanimously concluded that the scheme is a compelling option which realises attractive value for our shareholders.”

Shareholders are expected to vote on the matter in early 2019, though the date may be subject to change.

Last month, Greencross confirmed it was considering an acquisition proposal from TPG after the company’s net profit dropped 51 per cent to $20.7 million in FY18.

Despite falling profits, the business maintains a healthy mix of retail and service-based offerings, as well as a highly engaged customer database with a loyalty program that touches 90 per cent of retail sales.

TPG’s head of Australia and New Zealand Joel Thickins said the investment firm is confident the Greencross business will continue to grow under private ownership.

Source: Inside Retail

OCTOBER 5, 2018

Just For Pets announced as an Excellence in Business finalist

Just For Pets’ unique business and marketing accomplishments have rewarded them as a finalist for the 2018 Northern Rivers Regional Business Award for Excellence in Business. Winners will be announced at the 5th annual gala dinner and award celebration on Saturday October 13.

Just For Pets is Australia’s largest buying group for independent pet retailers. They represent nearly 60 stores around the country who trade under their original shop names and support their local communities. They also provide a highly active marketing foundation to assist their members in achieving their goals.

This recognition comes in perfect timing for small business month, as small businesses are the bedrock of the Just For Pets mission.

“Small businesses are the heart of the community and the backbone of our country,” says Karen Justice, CEO of Just For Pets. “Just For Pets is unique in that it offers corporate level support and opportunity for small business, without its members losing their independence and unique approaches to the pet industry,” says Justice. “Our mission is not to build a large, homogenized retail chain, but to help build upon the brand equity and expertise that our members already have in place.”

The Northern Rivers region takes in considerations in Byron Bay and Ballina on the coast and in to Lismore, as well as Clarence Valley up to Tweed Shire. 

Over 70 businesses have become finalists in 19 categories, with seven businesses also being finalists in the Excellence in Business category

These awards celebrate business excellence in many different areas including health care, retail, education, technology, and manufacturing and tourism.

Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Jane Laverty said that to be awarded and acknowledged as a finalist in the Northern Rivers Business Award, “is a wonderful achievement and it recognizes their efforts as a business of excellence and contributor to our regional economy.”

The Just For Pets team agrees that without their dedicated member stores, becoming an Excellence in Business finalist would not have been possible.

About Just for Pets

Just For Pets represents nearly 60 independent pet industry retailers providing a range of business services together with collective buying power. All stores are independently owned and operated by pet lovers, offering friendly service and experienced advice. Free pet health checks are also offered in 40 stores.

SYDNEY, 1 OCTOBER 2018

Pawssum, the app-based Australian Mobile Vet Service appoints new CEO

National app-based home visit vet booking service Pawssum Vets has revealed veterinarian Dr Vadim Chelom has been appointed as the group’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Dr Chelom steps into the role from his position as a Pawssum Melbourne-based house call vet and has previously held the role of Veterinary Director at Greencross Vets in Warringal and Preston.

He was also a Senior Veterinarian with RSPCA Victoria for four years, received his Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from Melbourne University, and has a Diploma in Management.

Dr Chelom said he was thrilled to be approached by Pawssum’s Sydney-based co-founder Guy Sharabi to take on the position of Pawssum CEO.

“Pawssum’s revolutionising the veterinary industry for pet owners by bringing a new level of service, convenience and personalisation to the table, which is long overdue, and I’m looking forward to being able to help more people embrace this new family-friendly pet health care model,” he said.

“For vets, the Pawssum platform provides an invigorating new career path, as it did for me, helping us get back to what we love doing best – treating pets and supporting their owners – and being able to do it in a less time-pressured environment but with all the business support we need, including delivering clients. “I’m passionate about this model, which also gives veterinarians job flexibility and better remuneration, as I believe it’s the way of the future for the veterinary industry.”

Mr Sharabi has been appointed as Chairman and Director of Innovation for the service, which provided personalised vet care to thousands of pets around Australia, with more than 120 vets on-board the platform. The service is fully operational in all Australian major cities.

“After building Pawssum to its current position it’s time to give the steering wheel to Dr Vadim; we’re very excited about this change as we know it’s the next necessary step to take our incredible vet service into more Australian homes,” said Mr Sharabi.

About Pawssum

Pawssum enables vets to make home visits and then refers cases needing surgery to trusted and selected Pawssum referral vet clinics around Australia, such as Animal Doctors, Bondi Vet Hospital.

Pawssum’s on-demand veterinarians can deliver 80% of a pet’s health care needs in the home – or office – including vaccinations, health checks, dental checks, behaviourist consultations and peaceful at-home euthanasia for increased comfort and privacy.
Pawssum donates part of its earnings to charity organisations such as like RSPCA, SAFE, Animal Welfare League.


SYDNEY, 20 OCTOBER 2017

Pet Industry Association of Australia announces the 2017 Pet Industry Achievement Award winners

Shining a spotlight on excellence in the pet industry, the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) announced the winners of the 2017 PIAA Industry Achievement Awards at the PIAA AusPet 2017 Trade Show & National Conference incorporating Groomex 2017 in Sydney (Oct 19 -22).

These annual awards recognise excellence in the pet industry with nominees undergoing a tough nomination process. The PIAA Industry Achievement Awards trophies were presented in 10 different categories and the winners are:


* PIAA / Bayer Pioneer Award -- Bob Croucher – Pet Industry News

* PIAA / Pet Plan Kevin Pakes Perpetual Achievement Award – David Kong – Kong’s Australia


* PIAA Boarder/Dog Day Care/Pet Sitter of Excellence Award – Samford Pet Resort, QLD

* PIAA Dog Trainer of Excellence Award -- Glenn Cooke – Pet Resorts Australia, NSW 

* PIAA Groomer of Excellence Award -- Paw Print Lane, WA 

* PIAA Manufacturer/Supplier of Excellence Award -- Frontier Pets 

* PIAA Breeder of Excellence Award -- Off the Edge Labradoodles, WA

* PIAA Pet Services of Excellence Award -- Time Out Pet Care, NSW 

* PIAA Retailer of Excellence Award -- We Know Pets Bowral, NSW 

* PIAA Education Achievement Award -- Lochinvar Pet Motel, NSW 

“PIAA is extremely proud of the calibre of its members. We congratulate all winners and nominees and look forward to these awards getting even bigger and better,” said PIAA CEO, Mark Fraser.

For more information on the PIAA courses and services, please visit www.piaa.net.au

SYDNEY, 11 OCTOBER 2017

MP moves bill to allow dogs into NSW pubs



Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker will move a Bill in Parliament amending the Companion Animals Act in NSW to allow dogs indoors in pubs, subject to the permission of the proprietor.

“Dog-friendly pubs are a key ingredient of the charm and unique atmosphere of some of our pubs here in Sydney’s Inner West and in many other places in NSW too. We believe that there’s a strong argument for changing these restrictive laws to allow pub proprietors to have the right to welcome dogs into their establishments, as they can in the UK and parts of Europe." said Mr. Parker.
Photo (supplied) Credit: John Appleyard

"Australia is regarded as one of the strictest nations when it comes to accessibility for companion animals.Dog owners in many European countries are free to take their pets inside shops, cafes, restaurants and onto public transport.

Studies have shown that having dogs in areas where food or drinks are served poses no risk to human health. Pub owners should be able to decide for themselves whether allowing dogs in is right for their establishment and their customers. Some businesses may have a “no pets” policy; others may welcome well behaved dogs in public areas.

Since starting my investigation in March this year, I’ve received hundreds of responses and the vast majority of people are in favour of letting pubs decide if dogs can come in. In metropolitan areas like Sydney where people work long hours, they often don’t get the chance to walk their dogs daily. Being able to bring dogs into the local pub would enhance the quality of life not only for dog owners, but for dogs too.”


SYDNEY, 31 JULY 2017

Aussie pets fetch $2 billion in public healthcare savings
Dr Chris Brown calls for pet owner tax credit to stimulate further benefits

To help relieve the pain of ballooning healthcare budgets, well known veterinarian Dr Chris Brown is prescribing pets to Federal and State governments.

On the back of new data (1) released today showing that pet owners deliver a massive $2 billion in public healthcare savings across Australia, Dr Chris Brown is encouraging policymakers to consider tax rebates or offsets that encourage pet ownership to stimulate further savings.

While the individual health benefits of owning a pet are widely known, The Healthcare Economics of Pets (1) report determined that every pet owner saves the health system $700 per year (1) in reducing the number of doctor visits and associated health costs, such as fewer specialist appointments and hospital visits.

“This research is a wake-up call for policy makers to acknowledge the broader benefits of pet ownership, which even extend to the public purse. If our governments can recognise pet owners for making smart choices for their health through incentives like a tax rebate or offset, the return on investment could be huge,” said Dr Chris Brown.

The calculations are based on previous studies by academics at the University of Melbourne that showed pet owners visit the doctors 11% less than non-pet owners (2).

The economic projections indicate that if pet populations increased by 10% a year the public health system could stand to save over $200 million annually.

“This report shows that keeping Australia pet friendly is an issue of national importance. I hope the government can see the value in spending a little, to save a lot,” said Dr Chris Brown.


The Healthcare Economics of Pets was commissioned by Mars Petcare as part of the Keep Australia Pet Friendly campaign which Ambassador Dr Chris Brown has been championing since 2015. 

Dr Chris Brown has been working to highlight the many benefits of pet ownership with stakeholders, pet owners and policy makers to stress the need to build a more pet friendly nation into the future, focusing on accommodation, open spaces and transport as priorities.

John Bishop, Co-Founder and Joint CEO of national animal welfare charity PetRescue, has voiced his support for the proposal.

“We really need policies like this to encourage more Australians to discover the benefits, and the joy, of pet adoption. The fact that pet ownership also has such a huge positive impact on our economy, it makes me wonder why this hasn’t been implemented sooner. It's a win-win for both humans and the many thousands of pets looking for a new home,” said Mr Bishop. 


To find out more, please visit www.petpositives.com.au

References

1. Healthcare Economics of Pets. July 2017. Commissioned report by Blue Green Economics
2. Headey & Grabka 2007 Pets and Human Health in Germany and Australia: National Longitudinal Results. Social Indicators Research. Vol 80, No 2 pp. 297-311
3. Headey B (1998) health benefits and health cost savings due to pets: preliminary estimates from an Australian national survey. Social Indicators Research, 47, 233-243
4. Headey B, Na F and Zheng R (2008) Pet dogs benefit owners’ health: a natural experiment; in China. Social Indicators Research, 87(3), 481-493
5. Companion Animal Economics 2017. The Economic impact of companion animals in the UK. University of Lincoln


DECEMBER 12, 2016

Pampered Pet Spending Reaches $12.2 billion in Australia
Average household expenditure on pets is up by almost 30% in the past three years as owners increasingly treat them as part of the family.

A new report released by Animal Medicines Australia, Pet Ownership in Australia 2016, shows nearly two in three Australian households (62%) now own a pet and, while many pets arrive in the family home at no cost, expenditure on pet products and services has now topped $12 billion annually.

Animal Medicines Australia Executive Director Mr Ben Stapley said that keeping a pet dog is now costing on average $1,495 each year, including $622 annually on pet food, $397 on veterinary services, $248 on pet healthcare products and over $100 each on grooming, other products and accessories.

Dog owners spend almost twice as much as those with cats. Total spending in the pet industry ($12.2 billion) has increased by 42% over the figure in 2013.

“Most pet owners want to provide their pets with the best possible life, and are now spending more across an increasing range of pet supplies and services to keep them healthy and happy,” Mr Stapley said.

“There has been a shift away from bulk foods and supermarket shopping towards premium foods, with owners increasingly opting to shop for their pet needs at specialty pet superstores. “Pet treats and pet healthcare products are growing rapidly, while owners are also seeking out food products made with natural and organic ingredients.”

Demand for specialist and therapeutic foods is also growing. Expenditures on pet dietary supplements grew by 13% in 2015 and is likely to be one of the fastest-growing categories in pet care in the future based on the speed of its growth in the US.


When it comes to pet accessories such as toys, clothing, leads, bowls and carriers, the AMA reported Australians were spending almost $1.1 billion. And city households do most of that spending, three times more than their regional and rural counterparts.

Pet insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing insurance categories and it is estimated that 5% of all Australian pets are insured (ahead of the 2% in the USA but well behind Britain's 25%, which is the highest in the world).
The report’s findings are based on a quantitative study of over 2,000 Australian households undertaken by Newgate Research on behalf of the AMA. Local and international data relating to expenditure has also been included.

Animal Medicines Australia is the peak body representing the leading animal health companies of Australia.
A fully copy of the report is available here.

OCTOBER 21, 2016

PIAA Industry Association Awards 2016

The Pet Industry Association Awards were presented at the Pet Expo held in Melbourne on the 20th and 21st October at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The following awards were nominated by members for excellence in their field over the past 12 months. And the winners were:

PIAA Pioneer Award - Jill Chancellor – Cooinda Cat Resort (VIC)
Kevin Pakes Perpetual Achievement Award - Paul Talbot – Majestic Aquariums (NSW)
PIAA Retailer of Excellence Award – Macarthur Pets (NSW)
PIAA Boarder/Doggy Day Care/Pet Sitter of Excellence Award – joint winners Hunter Pet Motel (NSW) and Dogs Country Club (VIC)
PIAA Dog Trainer of Excellence Award – Jordan Dog Training (QLD)
PIAA Breeder of Excellence Award – Cottage Canines (NSW)
PIAA Groomer of Excellence Award – Redgum Vet & Pet Boarding (SA)
PIAA Pet Services of Excellence Award – Zoohause (NSW)
PIAA Manufacturer/Supplier of Excellence Award – Petway Petcare (QLD)
PIAA Education Achievement Award – Pacific Pet Resort (NSW)




JULY 7, 2016


Compulsory desexing, microchipping of cats and dogs coming to SA
Compulsory microchipping and desexing of dogs and cats in South Australia will be in place by the end of the year after an amendment passed through State Parliament. The Government predicts the new laws will reduce the number of pets being euthanised.

The amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act were discussed for many years and the latest amendment is based on the findings of a citizens' jury, which urged that more effort be made to reduce the number of animals put down annually.

Environment Minister Ian Hunter said about 10,000 animals are euthanased each year."From my perspective that's 10,000 too many," he said. "That means there's an issue with supply and clamping down on illegal puppy farmers is the first place for us to start."

There will be some exemptions for breeders, as well as security and working dogs. Mr Hunter said the Government would look at ways to lower the cost of microchipping. "We work with veterinarians and various animal agencies and we can actually microchip a large number at a very cheap cost," he said.

Dog and cat management board chairwoman Dr Felicity-Ann Lewis said the board was pleased with the amendments and they would not be retrospective.
"We are saying to people: Look, it's coming, so please get organised, do the right thing," she said. Local councils will have the responsibility to enforce the laws.

JUNE 9, 2016

NSW Pet Registration goes DIY and digital



From July 2016, breeders and pet owners will be able to go to petregistry.nsw.gov.au to register, pay, update their own details, and transfer pets to new owners.

Already microchipped?

Kittens and puppies in NSW must be microchipped and placed on the NSW Pet Registry by the time they reach 12 weeks of age, or prior to sale if that is earlier.

New pets should already be on the register under the previous owner or breeder’s name and profile. The owner or breeder can transfer the pet on the registry to the new owner’s contact number or email address.

Not microchipped?


If a pet is not microchipped, a local vet can do it. The vet will microchip it, and add the number to the NSW Pet Registry.

With the microchip number, new owners will then log in to petregistry.nsw.gov.au and locate their animal using the microchip number and their contact details. Owners can then create a profile, and connect themselves fully to their pet so that in the event it is lost or injured owners can be notified.

Once an owner has an online profile they can update their contact details themselves. Owners can also pay registration fees online, which are due by the time a pet is 6 months old.
Owners without computers can use a form to register their pet. These are available from local council.

Desexing


De-sexed pets will attract a greatly reduced registration fee. From 4 July 2016 a reduced registration fee will be available to owners who de-sex their cat before four months of age. A reduced fee applies if dogs are de-sexed before six months.

Pet owners are encouraged to de-sex dogs and cats at an early age because it helps to ensure pets stay healthy, are well behaved and do not have unwanted litters.

Vets will need to update the register when a pet is de-sexed. Vets can also update the Pet Registry if they believe that a pet should not be de-sexed for medical reasons.

This website will be available from July 2016. petregistry.nsw.gov.au


JUNE 8, 2016

Australian cities and towns need to be more inclusive of pets
For the first time in Australia’s history, pet populations are falling significantly. This is a serious problem because pets make us happier and healthier. (Pic: Bob Barker)
AUSTRALIA, we need to talk.
"If I’m honest, this has been coming for a while. But right now, I feel like we’re at a crossroads in our relationship. My biggest fear? That if we don’t speak up we might just lose our supposed best mates from our lives. Along with all the benefits this friendship brings.

I am, of course, talking about the hairiest and possibly happiest members of our community — our pets. The scruffy, slobbery and occasionally clumsy masters of unconditional love.

But here’s the issue. While our pets might love us, our cities’ attitudes to pets is often far from caring. Most of our cities and towns have now become so non-inclusive of pets that a simple walk is more akin to a stroll through a minefield of potential fines, infringements and criticism. Or they’re simply not welcome at all — there are entire suburbs that ban cat ownership.

And without someone speaking up, we might just regulate pets out of our lives. 
For the first time in Australia’s history, pet populations are falling significantly. In just 12 months, cat populations have declined by 200,000 and dog numbers have dropped by 100,000. When you compare us to other countries around the world where ownership is increasing, our decline stands out like a dog’s ... well, you know.

Research shows that having a pet in your home means children are less likely to catch colds, need antibiotics or develop asthma. And throughout life having a furry family member leads to more exercise, lower blood pressure, fewer visits to the doctor, ­better cardiovascular health and an easing of loneliness.

So not only do pets make great personal trainers, they are hairy health care professionals. Every day, I see how beneficial pets are for all kinds of people, on a ­physical, mental and emotional level. If we lose pets from our communities then the health cost to all of us could be huge.
Having pet-friendly places is one of the best ways to support pets and their owners.

But a study last year into the pet-friendliness of Australian cities produced worryingly low results across the board — and Sydney came in at the bottom. We might be a nation of pet lovers but our cities are certainly not very pet-friendly. The time has come in 2016 for Australia to catch up to the rest of the world.


Rather than focusing on potential problems of pets, nations throughout Europe and North America seem more willing to embrace all the positives they provide. Not only do pets have more exercise areas to let out that excess energy, they’re also ­accepted travel companions (on planes, trains and buses), dining companions (at ­restaurants and cafes) and even hotel guests.

They’ve made these changes and haven’t suffered with piles of poo or hurricanes of pet hair ruining their streets. That’s because owners feel the pressure to be responsible. More ­relaxed pet laws are seen as a privilege.
Most of our cities and towns have now become so non-inclusive of pets that a simple walk is more akin to a stroll through a minefield of potential fines, infringements and criticism. (Pic: Bob Barker)
Over the next six months, I will be reaching out to all Australians through social media, visiting communities of pet lovers and speaking to all levels of government to raise awareness of these issues to see what can be done.

As a start, we need more pet-­friendly rental properties, transport, cafes and outdoor spaces.
Let’s stand up for creatures that ­repeatedly stand up for us. We must act now or risk losing our best mates and all the benefits they bring forever.

So, together, let’s #keepauspetfriendly before it’s too late."


Originally published as Australia, we need to talk in the Herald Sun


JUNE 2, 2016

Dogs may have been domesticated more than once
For years, scientists have debated where dogs came from. Did wolves first forge their special relationship with humans in Europe, or in Asia? The answer, according to a new study, is yes. This week in Science, researchers report that genetic analysis of hundreds of canines reveals that dogs may have been domesticated twice, once in Asia and once in Europe or the Near East, although European ancestry has mostly vanished from today’s dogs.

The study includes a unique specimen: the inner ear bone of a nearly 5000-year-old dog unearthed from Newgrange, a football field–sized mound of dirt and stone on the east coast of Ireland, built around the time of Stonehenge.

The team then created a family tree for the animals, which revealed a deep divide between European dogs (like the Newgrange canine and the Golden Retriever) and Asian dogs (like the Shar Pei and free-ranging village dogs from Tibet and Vietnam.

The data suggest that the East-West split happened sometime between 6400 and 14,000 years ago. Humans domesticated dogs in Asia more than 14,000 years ago, and a small subset of these animals eventually migrated west through Eurasia, probably with people.

But here’s the twist: Archaeologists previously had found the remains of dogs in Germany that may be more than 16,000 years old, suggesting that dogs had already been domesticated in Europe by the time the Asian canines got there. (...)

There’s still work to do: In a release, the team says that they plan to put their theory to the test by analysing thousands of ancient dogs and wolves. If their theory holds, it would rewrite the story of how our beloved pets came to be.


For the full article by David Grimm in the journal Science, please read bit.ly/21408w9

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