Pets are good for your health, the Budget and the economy

Bondi Vet Dr Chris Brown has noted:

“…pets make us happy. They wash away our worries while showing us how life should be lived. And pets are proven to also make us healthier.”

Pets also have economic and budgetary impacts, as recent research by my fellow economist and friend Dr Stephen Thornton has demonstrated. Stephen’s research was presented to a recent forum at Queensland Parliament House which was arranged by Mars Petcare, owner of leading pet food brands such as Chum and Whiskas, as part of its Keep Australia Pet Friendly campaign.

Stephen spoke about his recent report Pet ownership in Queensland strata schemes: economic, financial and public health benefits. The report considered the economic, financial and public health impacts that would follow from allowing pets in properties under strata schemes without prohibitions (although a body corporate would be able to set reasonable conditions and have the power to ask for offensive pets to be removed after reasonable notices). Stephen reports that, if dogs and cats were not prohibited in any strata dwellings, likely impacts include:

  • approximately $90 – $180 million of increased expenditure and over 600 new jobs in the lucrative pet industry in the medium term (3 to 5 years);
  • approximately a $25,000 increase in value and $1,300/year increase in rental income for lot owners of an average $500,000 apartment/townhouse; and
  • budget savings for Queensland Health resulting from better public health outcomes.

Please consult Stephen’s report for his specific assumptions and sources.

The current review of Queensland property law being carried out by the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre at QUT provides an excellent opportunity to consider changes in property law to make it easier for people to own pets in properties in strata schemes.

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Dr Stephen Thornton speaking at the Qld Parliament House forum on keeping Australia pet friendly

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