Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — My question is for the Minister for Agriculture, the Honourable Jaala Pulford. I visited the Lost Dogs Home in my electorate the other month. To my surprise I found that it cares for over 31 000 dogs and cats every year and is in fact Australia’s largest animal shelter. The shelter has expressed concerns about the lack of access to affordable cat desexing and is looking for funds for a mobile cat desexing van, which would work with councils and provide a subsidised service throughout the Northern Metropolitan Region to allow for cat desexing. My question is: would the minister consider a modest proposal to fund this initiative?
Animal welfare is a high priority for the Andrews Labor Government. The Animal Welfare Fund Grants program has offered $1.6 million, over four years, in grants to not-for-profit agencies undertaking animal welfare projects within our community. The grants program was developed in recognition of the excellent companion animal welfare services being delivered across Victoria by many not-for-profit organisations.
The Lost Dogs Home has been funded for the development of a mobile desexing van and a discounted desexing program to the value of $50 000.