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Animal Justice Party urges SA Government to change tenant pet policy

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The Animal Justice Party is urging the SA Government to follow in the footsteps of the Victorian Government, in making changes to the laws surrounding tenants and pets.

The Victorian Government recently announced changes to policy, meaning that landlords are still required to give consent but can only refuse pets in certain circumstances.

For example, landlords may have the right to refuse if a council banned backyard chickens or animals that may cause damage to heritage dwellings.

Animal Justice Party SA secretary, Dr Suzanne Pope, told News Corp that SA should adopt a similar stance in order to help reduce the number of pets surrendered to shelters or euthanised.“Rescue groups deal with many tragic situations, but so far neither major party in SA has acknowledged the importance of this issue,” she said.

News Corp previously reported that less than 5% of rentals in Adelaide and surrounding suburbs allowed pets.

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Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) chief executive Greg Tourhgton, said that he had introduced the idea of “pet bonds” – an extra payment to cover any possible damage caused by pets – with the SA Government.

At this point, it is unclear whether or not the SA Government will introduce a pet bond or follow Victoria’s lead.

Victoria’s change in laws was applauded by the RSPCA, which said that the move meant more Victorians would now be able to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership.

“Research has shown that owning a pet can have a number of physical health benefits, including increased cardiovascular health, increased physical activity and fewer visits to the doctor – as well as improving social connectedness,” RSPCA Victoria CEO, Dr Liz Walker said.