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No breaches of animal welfare code at Napier Pound

The Ministry for Primary Industries External Audit Report has found that on the whole, the Napier Pound is “well run” and “very clean and sanitary”.

An inspection was carried out in November 2016, finding that animals had ample space, good clean pens, bedding and bowls, and were adequately cared for by Animal Control staff. The storage of dog food, chemicals, equipment and the bodies of euthanised dogs was also compliant with MPI standards.

MPI found there to be no breaches of the Animal Welfare Code at the Pound.

Shortfalls identified by the report were taken for immediate action by Napier City Council and Chief Executive Wayne Jack says, as the Pound moves into the holiday period, all recommendations highlighted by MPI have been facilitated. These include a better system for triaging animals on entry, in order to mitigate any biosecurity risk, and stricter operational procedures, quality management and record-keeping.

Mr Jack says he enjoyed meeting with MPI staff in November and welcomes the report.

“The recommendations made in the report are sensible and achievable, and most were already being worked towards under our new management structure when the inspector visited us. For example, we are well underway with the completion of a secure veterinary facility next door to our Pound, for triaging animals and the management and care of unwell dogs. All physical assessments take place here, separate to the other dogs in care at our Pound. We have also introduced standard operating procedures, a training framework for new and existing staff members, and the recruitment of a kennel attendant to oversee the facility is progressing well.”

Another positive action taken by Napier City Council is the signing of a one year memorandum of understanding with the SPCA.  Director City Services, Lance Titter, says the system is working well.

“SPCA now visits our Pound to undertake a weekly visit and audit. It’s reassuring for us all to know our shelter is being regularly assessed, independently of the Animal Control Team.”

He adds that Animal Control staff have changed their operating procedures to improve customer experience - for instance, only approaching the front doors of properties in all cases, and leaving notes if nobody answers the door.

The number of dogs voluntarily surrendered by their owners for euthanasia is also being recorded, says Mr Titter, “as previously this statistic was rolled into our total yearly euthanasia figures”.

Mayor Bill Dalton says that overall, the Napier Pound will be in an excellent position when the new Code of Welfare: Temporary Housing of Companion Animals comes into effect, likely sometime early next year.

“It’s great to be ahead of the game in this regard. I’m satisfied that we have sound management practices in place, are constantly improving, are compliant with current legislation and I’m confident that by the time the new legislation is signed off, Napier City Council will be leading the field in the care of impounded animals.”

23 January 2017

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