Young Girl Shapes New Laws That Limit Guinea Pigs in Australia
Under the new laws a person is allowed to own two guinea pigs but if you happen to have three of them, you will be fined. The laws also cover many other pets and farm animals. David Clarkson, Yarra Ranges Council local laws manager, said the focus of these proposed bylaws is to protect the community and manage ongoing nuisances. Some residents felt this unfairly treats animal lovers and their pets like criminals.
However, a young girl’s love for her guinea pigs turned the tables. Georgia McAleer, 10, of Mt Evelyn who owned three lovable cavies was torn over which pet to be forced to give up under the new plan. She was so upset over the thought of having to choose between her pets, mother Squeak and babies Bandit and Whitey, that she appealed to officials requesting reconsideration of the new laws.
“As soon as I heard about it, I wrote to them – exactly the same hour, actually,” she said. “I felt that it was unfair that they were telling people how many pets they can have. It’s not right. I think it’s really stupid. They shouldn’t stop people from having pets.”
Georgia’s Letter, as reported by the Herald Sun:
Dear Yarra Ranges councillors,
My name is Georgia and I’m 10 years old. I own three guinea pigs, Squeak and her babies The Squeakettes (see adorable picture!)
I live in Mount Evelyn and when I heard about the law I was very upset! This means I will have to give up one of my family otherwise my mum and dad will be fined.
If this happens a part of my heart will be gone.
In November our darling cat went missing and we still hope she will come back!
I want to keep my guinea pigs because they are all special to me! So I beg, please don’t go through with the law!
Actually no, I demand the law to be stopped!!! I couldn’t bear to live without one of them!
Georgia McAleer (a very upset little girl and a very upset citizen!)
PS. Would you give up a piece of your heart just because of the law?!
Her plea did not go unheard. Council spokesman, Troy Edwards, said the council understood the importance of domestic pets and encouraged more submissions on the bylaw. Georgia’s guinea pigs would not be taken away from her by the council and they thanked her for her submission. Cr Tim Heenan said officials planned to get rid of all the “trivial” sections of the proposed law, including the restriction on guinea pigs. “I will not support any local law that is so trivial like that,” Cr Heenan said.
The community is invited to offer input to help shape the law. Once the council receives community input, it will redraft the local law and put it out for community consultation again. Submissions can be made at yhttp://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au
If you have a great idea for an article about guinea pigs, please let us know. Guinea Pig Today is a network of guinea pig lovers and we’re always looking for the next great story. View our submissions page for more information on how to submit your idea.