It's not just people who feel the heat during Queensland's festive season - your pets also need protection from the potential harmful effects of the hot weather.Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin and Member for Morayfield Mark Ryan today talked to primary school children about the importance of animal welfare over the summer months. Mr Ryan said speaking at Morayfield State School that animals needed to have water, food and appropriate shelter available to them at all times, but especially when the temperatures soared."All animal owners had a legal duty-of-care to their pets and we're keen to teach school students about the value of good animal welfare," Mr Ryan said. "Pet owners who would never knowingly harm their pets need to make sure they do not make the mistake of ignoring their special needs during this time of the year."If your family is going to be away from home even if it is just to spend a few days at the beach, you need to make arrangements to ensure your pets are cared for. "The best option was to book family pets into a good boarding kennel or cattery."Alternatively, arrange for a responsible person to visit your home daily to care for your animals," he said. Mr Mulherin said pets need company and it is neglectful to leave a dog in a yard for long periods without a person to care for them."All pet owners or those in charge of an animal have a duty of care to provide food, water and appropriate shelter. This is particularly important during scorching summer heat and the wet season," Mr Mulherin said. "Pets should never be left in a hot car, not even for a short while, as intense heat can quickly cause heat stroke and death."Biosecurity Queensland's Help an Animal Smile website for children is an enjoyable way for parents to help their children learn about responsible pet ownership. "The school holidays are a great time to foster good animal care skills with your kids and the website has fun and interactive downloadable games, quizzes and activity books."It is a great source for parents as well with tips, fact sheets and important information on pet owner's duty of care to their animals."
For more information on animal welfare or Help an Animal Smile activities, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au and click on 'Animal welfare & Ethics', then 'Kids' pages' or contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23. Biosecurity Queensland is now on twitter. Follow us @BiosecurityQld.