Employs 30,000 people
The companion animal sector employed more than 30,000 people and generated turnover of $4.2 billion in 2002-03 (reference: Food, Fibre & Timber Industries Training Council (WA) Inc ).
Industry sectors include animal control and regulation, animal technology, captive animals, companion animal services, veterinary nursing. Careers include animal welfare officers and inspectors, local councils and port authorities, pet products retailers, groomers, boarding kennels, pet food and accessories manufacturing and veterinary nurses.
There are many interesting and rewarding careers in animal care and management.
Animal control and regulation
Animal control and regulation is primarily concerned with the policy and procedures of local governments throughout Australia to facilitate the relationship between pets, their owners and the general community.
The duties of an officer working in this sector vary, but may include responsibility for educating the public about pet ownership, enforcing state legislation and regulations and local government by-laws, minimising pet nuisance and the policing of animal exercise areas.
The animal technology sector involves the use of animals in research and has grown rapidly over recent years. Animal technicians at a junior level are involved in the care and husbandry of animals.
At a senior level they may be involved in facility management, surgery, techniques or assisting with research. Captive animals This involves animals that are held in captivity in zoos, wildlife parks, sanctuaries and rescue centres.
Individuals employed to take care of animals in captivity are often known as keepers.
The duties of a keeper are many and varied. Typically they include responsibility for feeding animals, maintenance of animal hygiene, ensuring safety, upkeep of enclosures and exhibits and conducting public information sessions.
The companion animal services sector embraces a wide range of diverse and highly specialised operations, including, pet retail outlets, pet grooming services, pet boarding facilities and animal training facilities.
The duties of a companion animal worker vary, but may include the daily care of animals, feeding, maintenance of animal hygiene and housing, grooming and animal safety. They may be required to provide information to the public about relevant products and services.
Veterinary nurses provide support and assistance to veterinarians, mostly in private companion animal and mixed practices. Common tasks include support during surgery and consultations, maintaining clinic hygiene, nursing hospitalised animals, reception duties and performing laboratory and radio-graphic routines.
Source acknowledgement: Food, Fibre & Timber Industries Training Council (WA) Inc