“Stock losses”. The words just rolled off a weary farmer’s tongue on a recent news report on the fires. Lip gloss, tooth floss, fairy floss, stock loss. It doesn’t quite capture the terror of plunging around a paddock in searing heat and choking smoke, crashing into fences and ditches in a terrified effort to escape but still being burned alive.

Gee, thanks guys. Is this organic water, though?

Small mercy would be choking before the final blast of heat that preceeds the flames does its worst. Animals got a mention on one SBS report, with one farmer saying how horrific it was. No not the being burned alive, or even the shooting of the blackened survivors, but the mess if the corpses were left too long before burial.

I’m left comparing biro losses and stock losses. Perhaps they need to search under the sofa, that’s where my biros seem to end up.

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  • Stained says:

    06:23pm | 14/01/13

    Furthermore Daz, Indonesia ought to thank their lucky stars that the migration of man from their archipelago to Oz didn’t operate fire stick farming there!  Nope, they came here and burnt this country instead. Read more »

  • Nev says:

    06:12pm | 14/01/13

    Bear are you sure you haven’t watched “Babe” once to many times. Babe is by know means an accurate portrayal of livestock, but I guess for a lot of people it’s probably their only exposure to livestock, and can give them a totally wrong impression. They act both instinctevely and… Read more »


Why is it that every time I see a pure bred dog I think of Hitler?

Let's face it, I'm pretty good looking…

I’m certainly not meaning to trivialise the horrific nature of the Holocaust by any means, but I can’t help but draw parallels between the madman’s ideal of a “superior” Aryan Race and a mating system which celebrates a dog’s fashionable beauty over its health and well-being.

Obviously not all breeders, nor all classes of dogs have inherent problems and defects, but it’s undeniable that within certain categories, continuous genetic inbreeding has produced recognised medical flaws which diminish the life expectancy and life quality of man’s best friend.

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  • JTZ says:

    06:48pm | 17/12/12

    Actually there is a varied difference between German Shepherds in the USA and the European ones. US German Shepherd are alot taller and skinnier then thier Eurpean counter parts. The fact that most German Shepherds continue to be used in defence, police and other roles show that the fact that… Read more »

  • TheHuntress says:

    05:41pm | 17/12/12

    @ Philosopher If you have Pinterest you can check these guys out I am such a proud mum! Read more »


The euthanasia of pets is a hot topic. Many healthy animals are put down every year for a complex range of reasons. And a fight between people who should be allies – the animal shelters and the animal rescuers who want a ‘no kill’ rule – is making things even more difficult, Miles Heffernan explains.

All ma dogs. Pic:

Australia is a world leader in killing cats and dogs. Investigating this production line of death opens the door to an insidious world of pet welfare, commercial greed, and pious ideology.

For a short time I worked for a large animal shelter. From that part-time job, I have a beautiful pooch called Thaddeus. One of my mates rudely refers to him as my life partner, given his regular attendance at BBQs and birthdays.

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  • Vets are Super Humans says:

    07:51pm | 25/09/12

    Sorry, make that ‘tens of thousands’ on ongoing professional development; ‘hundreds of thousands’ (played out by leases) on professional equipment. How much does a digital xray cost< do you think? Ultrasound? Surgical equipment? Vets usually undercharge for common ‘shopped’ items such as spey, and perhaps euthenasia…praps your vet was simply… Read more »

  • Vets are Super Humans says:

    07:44pm | 25/09/12

    Good vets are so much more than the bottom dollar or free credit. You’ll find the best vets may well be the ones that do not offer free credit, and may not be the bargain basement cheapest either. The reason? Dedicated vets spend many thousands of dollars on ongoing professional… Read more »


There’s something about being in the presence of puppies that can make grown adults a bit soft in the head. You know the sort. The ones who let out cries of “Hurro puppeee! Aren’t you adowable?! Yesh you are! Yesh you are!” as soon as they enter the vicinity of any small, wet-nosed creatures.

Cruella De Ville''s version of a pet shop.

Most dog lovers would agree: puppies are adorable, and they’re everywhere. Our parks are full of them. Suburban cafes put out water bowls for their furry guests.

We have doggie day care, puppy primping, specialist clothing, gourmet pet food. There’s a whole, thriving industry tied to our love of four-legged friends.

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  • Dog Guy says:

    05:55pm | 01/04/10

    Anna, you are the typical ill-informed yet surprisingly opinionated poster who pops up whenever these sorts of stories make the press. Pretending to be concerned about animals, but in actual fact you have done zero research and you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about (but you clearly… Read more »

  • Paul Archer says:

    09:51pm | 31/03/10

    Thank you Rhiannon for a very well written article that highlights the issues. Many people will make better quality decisions about where to get their pets, if they are given the right information. Many of the public have no idea what is going on, which is why articles like this… Read more »


It’s the month of love. Of greeting cards, long stemmed roses and boxed chocolate. Of old flames, new flames, love hearts and lonely hearts.

This is so damned cute it's ridiculous. Photo: Jess Husband

I figure people can be roughly divided into two groups – those who love Valentine’s Day and those who avoid it.

While my longest relationship is with my husband Richard (and don’t get me wrong it’s a very happy one) some of my most treasured moments in life have been with my fur family.

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  • Pilliga Princess says:

    06:06pm | 08/02/10

    How does the RSPCA justify killing animals, including 48 cows belonging to a Pilliga farmer in 2007? RSPCA are hypocrites, as they didn’t care what happened to the 13 orphaned calves after their mothers were inhumanely shot. How do you justify hiring a QC for a matter in a local… Read more »

  • wendy says:

    04:13pm | 08/02/10

    I still cant believe that people still consider the killing of innocent animals as sport. Lynn, as a fellow animal lover I don’t know how you cope with what you must see in your job - but I am so happy you do.  Here’s to you and your brilliant organisation.… Read more »


You may have seen this photo this morning taken by a photographer from local Melbourne newspaper the Preston Leader.

Photo by Adam Elwood

The common Grey Kangaroo (let’s call him Joey McCutie to personalise the plight of the species) had just been hit by and was laying seriously injured on the tram tracks in Bundoora. Here are the Leader and Herald-Sun stories.

The police officer’s decision to shoot Joey McCutie twice in the head was apparently a pretty sensible decision in light of its injuries, but it has prompted some pretty odd criticism from the RSPCA.

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  • Kay says:

    02:14pm | 23/02/10

    Has anyone of you considered the death of joey when the roo is shot? One shot, two lives!! If the cop could remove the injured kangaroo to a safer place and waited for a Wildlife ranger, we would have more chance to save one of the lives at least. It’s… Read more »

  • Simba says:

    12:17pm | 01/02/10

    probably a bit late now, but those nimrods complaining about the two shots. you are actually trained to fire twice; it is called a double tap.  Additionally, that Smith and Wesson revolver that the officer is using is useless.  Renowned for total inaccuracy even at point blank range.  Why on… Read more »


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