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RSPCA Policy A10 Housing of companion animals

Article ID: 599
Last updated: 26 Jun, 2014
Revision: 20
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 10.1  All housing facilities for companion animals must be designed and maintained to provide a clean, comfortable, sheltered and safe environment and to meet the behavioural, physiological and social needs of the particular animal.
 10.2 Where companion animals are usually confined in a restricted environment (such as in cages, hutches or similar housing), they must be given regular opportunities for exercise outside of the area where they are normally housed, as appropriate for the species, in a safe, predation-free and escape-proof area (such as an outdoor run or enclosed indoor area).
 10.3 Birds
 10.3.1 Where birds are permanently confined steps must be taken to ensure that adequate exercise and environmental enrichment (complexity) are available to provide physical and psychological stimulation. Birds must have regular opportunities to fly. They should have daily access to a flight aviary or daily opportunities to fly outside of the area where they are normally housed, in a safe environment (such as indoors).
RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of tethers on birds because of the severe restrictions they place on the bird’s movement.



Where fish are maintained in captivity, particular consideration should be given to temperature control, water quality, stocking density, species compatibility, the surface area and volume of the container and the provision of safety areas (e.g. in fish ponds) and suitable environmental enrichment materials.


Containers for transport

Carry-boxes and portable containers used for the transport of dogs, cats and other small animals should have sufficient space and enable the occupant to lie down comfortably in a natural position, stand and sit erect, turn around normally while standing upright and stretch with clearance. They should be robust and escape-proof, sufficiently enclosed to provide the animal with a sense of security whilst allowing adequate ventilation and the ability to inspect the animal during the journey. Transport containers should be used for temporary (short-term) confinement only.


Boarding kennels and catteries

RSPCA Australia advocates the compulsory registration and licensing of all boarding kennels and catteries. The conditions under which animals are housed must be detailed in a code of practice with compliance with the code of practice made a condition of licensing.

(reviewed 26/06/14)

See also:
F1 Transportation – general principles
F7 Transportation of animals by air

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RSPCA Policy A09 Cat management       RSPCA Policy A11 Surgical modification of companion animals