SPCA is looking to desex at least 15,000 animals per financial year for the next ten years. An initial two-year focused campaign will help establish metrics and targets for the following years.
Why desexing is important
Desexing is a key component of Responsible Pet Ownership.
The owned companion animal population of New Zealand is estimated to include 1.2 million companion cats and 851,000 dogs, of which 146,000 cats and 221,000 dogs are not desexed, and some animals may have already had a litter before desexing occurred.
The barriers to desexing owned companion animals
The main barriers to desexing of owned companion cats are cost (27%), feeling it is unnecessary (23%), and not considering it a priority (21%). For dogs the three main barriers are feeling it is unnecessary (27%), wanting to breed the animal (26%), and cost (20%).
These barriers have remained largely unchanged over the previous decade.
How to overcome these barriers
To overcome these barriers, SPCA’s National Desexing Programme will provide accessible low-cost desexing and education focused on the importance and appropriate timing of desexing companion cats and dogs.
The NDP will use a variety of different methods to achieve our goals:
1. Establish national, low-cost desexing programmes, using a variety of different methods to reduce incoming canine and feline numbers
- Deliver targeted Snip ‘n’ Chip programmes nationwide
- Enable Centres and Inspectors the ability to assist with desexing when appropriate
- Design and build mobile desexing units which offer subsidised desexing in difficult-to-reach and remote areas of Aotearoa, New Zealand
2. Establish collaborative working relationships with local Councils and Rescue Groups
- Includes the establishment of the SPCA Desexing Grant for Rescues
- Collaborate with local Councils to provide funding for Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns to promote responsible cat ownership in their area
3. Promote and drive education as well as owner compliance while breaking down barriers regarding desexing in Aotearoa New Zealand
- Create and promote educational and communication tools that break down barriers
- Gather data sets and studies of all desexing campaigns and initiatives
- Establish a National Desexing Network with local rescues and veterinarians
- Offer accessible social impact reporting for the above and validation of the NDP
- Educate veterinarians on the benefits for early age desexing
We have been making progress with desexing through our previous and ongoing local Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns, but we want to make a bigger impact. To do this, we need to target resources where there is most need and be able to measure what we have achieved.
Desexing and microchipping are key ways to improve animal welfare in Aotearoa New Zealand. It reduces the number of unwanted litters and lost animals, improves welfare for these animals, and positively impacts the environment.
Microchipping is a great way for owners to be reunited with their lost pets.
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