LIFE

The Census Doesn't Ask One Question About Household Pets

Dr Chris Brown says it’s impossible to plan for an Australia without this info.

10/08/2016 8:37 AM AEST | Updated 10/08/2016 9:50 AM AEST
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LexiTheMonster
They forgot about Fido :sadface:.

On a scale of one to disaster, the whole Census fiasco has been, well, interesting. Forgetting for a second that most of the nation couldn't compete the survey on Tuesday night due to a denial of service attack, those who did fill in the form noted that not one question included details about our furry family members.

'Bondi Vet' Dr Chris Brown noticed this, too, and isn't happy.

"With not a single question about the furry family, it's surely impossible to plan for an Australia where pets are included," Dr Brown said on his Facebook page on Tuesday evening.

The Census hasn't included information about pets since 1994. In 2011 Petplan Australasia put out their own pet Census (following the human one) to gather vital information around health, finances, family life and relationships in relation to pets. In 2013 questions about pets was proposed as a new topic, though it seems that's where it was left.

Why is this important? Sure, the government doesn't need to know if Spot prefers Schmackos over Lucky Dog, or if Fluffy the ragdoll has a catnip habit, but without figures around the amount of pets Australia has we can't plan our future facilities and parks accordingly.

The Australian Veterinary Association claims that in 2013 there was an estimated 25 million pets in Australia, which is on par with the human population. Sixty-three percent of Aussies own a pet, making us one of the highest ranking pet loving nations in the world.

The pet care industry in Australian is worth $8 billion annually, and on a personal level it has been proven that owning a pet can relieve depression and anxiety and boost oxytocin levels.

To remedy the lack of information collected about our pets Dr Brown has launched his own survey (which you can complete by clicking here).

"I'm launching Australia's first ever ‪#PetCensus‬. And you might even enjoy this one. This census is simple...with just eight questions and best of all, no personal details! Armed with this insight into our pet population, I'll be talking to government over the next month to ensure we Keep Australia Pet Friendly," Dr Brown said.

In the interest of keeping it short and simple Dr Brown has focused on cats and dogs, but urges you to detail your other pets, fluffy, feathery or scaly, in the 'other' section.

Roger Wright
These guys count, too.

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