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IGA boasts most loyal customers
Australian supermarket chain beats competition in the grocery game.

Australian supermarket chain, IGA, has the most loyal customers, according to recent findings by consumer research company, Roy Morgan Research.

The results indicate that in any given four week period, 30 per cent of grocery buyers exclusively shop at IGA, followed by Woolworths/Safeway (25 per cent), and Coles (24 per cent). Despite its increasing overall market share, Aldi sits at the bottom of the list, with only 7 per cent of consumers doing their grocery shop in its entirety there.

“As our data has confirmed many times and in many different ways, Australia’s supermarket scene is incredibly competitive, and these latest findings throw another challenge into the mix. While most grocery buyers have a supermarket they mainly shop at, a relatively low proportion of them shop exclusively at that supermarket. They do not seem to have any great sense of loyalty to their main chain,” said Andrew Price, GM consumer products, Roy Morgan Research.

“These results suggest that customer loyalty programs such as FlyBuys (held by more than half of Coles shoppers) and Everyday Rewards (held by more than 60 per cent of Woolworths/Safeway customers) are not achieving the desired result.”

When asked how many major supermarkets they shopped at over the last four weeks, 37 per cent of Australian grocery buyers reported shopping at two, 28 per cent said three and 7 per cent said they shopped at all four. This pattern is relatively consistent among Woolworths/ Safeway shoppers, Cole shoppers and IGA shoppers, for whom visiting two supermarkets is the most common scenario.

When it comes to Aldi, however, the greatest proportion (47 per cent) of their shoppers visits three supermarkets in an average four week period.

loyalty chart

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=12,828). Base: Australian grocery buyers 14+

Tags: iga, supermarkets, australia

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-09-17 08:41:23


Keep Australia Beautiful Week

"It’s a good time of year to remind pet owners the importance of picking up after your companion animal,” Nadia Crighton Spokesperson from PIAA member, Pet Insurance Australia says. “Many dog parks are littered with plastic bags full of waste, it’s so bad for the environment and so easily avoided.”

Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) are running community programs in each state and territory to promote a sustainable and beautiful environment.

“Get involved, we are so blessed to live in such a beautiful country and we all need to pitch in and help keep it that way.”

From cleaning beaches, parks and streets; to removing graffiti and unsightly mess from around the city, the Keep Australia Beautiful program is helping communities across Australia to become litter-free.

“This is such a great way for dog owners to become proactive in their own off-leash areas,” Crighton says. “Say NO to rubbish and unsightly mess in your local area, if the bins are over-flowing with litter and dog waste contact your council, and take a stance.”

Having a litter-free Australia is an achievable dream.

“We can all do our part,” Crighton suggests. “It’s as simple as taking a rubbish bag with you on your walk and make it a goal to fill it up. You’ll be surprised how much you can collect over the week, and how much better your local environment will look.”

Tags: other news, news, pets, dogs, australia, keep australia beautiful week, environment

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-08-27 08:57:43


Scam Warning - Purchasing Puppies

The Department of the Environment is urging people to be aware of a scam involving the purchase of puppies.

SCAMwatch has received an increase in the number of scams involving puppies this year. This scam typically involves ads for non-existent puppies being placed in newspapers and online classifieds at suspiciously low prices. The ‘seller’ provides interested buyers with pictures of an adorable puppy and then tricks them into paying fees for transport, customs or medical costs before the dog can be delivered. Once the payment is made, the puppy and money vanish without a trace.

The scam involves ads on puppies for sale being placed on online classifieds and community websites. After buyers pay for a puppy located in Tasmania, purchasers are advised that the puppy is being held at a Customs facility on mainland Australia while awaiting a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) certificate. The purchaser is asked to pay additional money to obtain the CITES certificate.

The Department is reminding members of the public that domestic dogs are not generally subject to CITES, and the movement of dogs or any other domestic pets within Australia does not require a CITES certificate or permit.

More information on CITES and Australian wildlife trade permitting requirements is available on Wildlife trade.

As we have previously advised, the industry is often targeted with these and similar scams. We suggest proceeding with caution in all dealings and ensure you view any animal before boarding, purchasing etc. 

You can visit Scamwatch website of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) offers further information on scams, including scams involving puppies.

If you have been scammed or suspect a scam, you can report it to the ACCC via Scamwatch report-a-scam

Tags: other news, news, pets, dogs, puppies, australia, scams, scam warning

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-08-27 08:56:23


Beautiful Coral - Risky in Aquariums

Aquarium enthusiasts and people who work in aquarium stores should be aware that some types of coral produce dangerous toxins that can be hazardous to your health, according to a new report.

The report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, describes 10 cases of toxin poisoning in Alaska between 2012 and 2014 that were linked to zoanthid corals, a common type of coral in home aquariums. Some zoanthid contain high levels of palytoxin, a toxin that can cause life-threatening symptoms if people touch, inhale or ingest it, the CDC said, "Many aquarium store employees and marine aquarium hobbyists are not aware of palytoxin as a potentially serious hazard associated with handling some zoanthid corals," the report said. "General recommendations on coral handling and decontamination practices would be helpful for hobbyists, commercial coral growers, and the public health and clinical provider communities.

PIAA President, Board Member and Aquarium Vet, Dr Rob Jones says “To my knowledge there have been no reports of palytoxin toxicity in reef keepers in Australia. However as it is potentially very serious (and) all marine aquarium reef keepers need to be aware of the possibility”

For more information visit

Tags: other news, news, pets, fish, aquarium, coral, pet health

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-08-27 08:54:48


Survey: Americans spend $20B a year on their pets

About 95% of pet owners in the U.S. consider their pets to be part of the family, according to a Nielsen survey. The trend has Americans spending almost $20 billion a year to feed, clothe and care for their companions. Sixty-four percent buy their pets holiday gifts, and 45% spring for birthday presents, according to a Harris Poll

Tags: other news, news, pets, survey, america, united states, usa

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-08-27 08:36:26


Phoenix Pet Stores to sell Rescue Cats and Dogs
Now cannot source animals from commercial breeders.

A US court has upheld a law forcing Phoenix pet stores to only sell rescue animals, giving homeless cats and dogs a better chance at a second life.

Stores in Phoenix now cannot source animals to sell from commercial breeders.

The decision, which was passed by Phoenix City Council in December 2013 to tackle the rising amount of homeless animals in the area, has since been upheld in the courts to the delight of animal welfare activists.

The Humane Society of the United States, senior vice president Jonathan Lovvorn has welcomed the decision by Arizona’s largest city and state capital.

“Not only does this type of regulation crack down on the puppy mill industry, but it also reduces local pet overpopulation and euthanasia rates in shelters by driving the market toward the adoption of homeless animals and purchases from only responsible breeders,” he said.

The Arizona Republic reports the ordinance was challenged by Phoenix pet store owners Frank and Vicki Mineo, who argued they only used regulated breeders and the new law would put them out of business. However, the law was upheld. The implications of this are yet to be fully felt by the pet shop industry in Phoenix and we will continue to follow with interest.

Tags: other news, news, phoenix, arizona, america, united states, usa, rescue animals, cats, dogs, pet stores

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-08-13 09:35:48


Dog Lovers Cruise 2015

In 2015, Activity Dogs will again be hosting the Dog Lover's Cruise. The cruise will be visiting New Zealand, a gorgeous holiday destination with some of the most breathtaking natural locations the world has to offer.

Hosted by Activity dogs, the cruise includes seminars aboard Royal Caribbean's luxury cruise ship, Explorer of the Seas, and will be attended  by industry professionals and dog lovers. Presenters include Dr Karen Hedberg, Steve Austin and more.

Activity Dogs is a business passionate about the organisation and participation of events and activities relevant to dogs and their owners. The vision of Activity Dogs is to build a successful business in the organisation of seminars, projects and ventures covering the wide range of disciplines associated with dogs. Offering the opportunity for like minded people to experience fun and enjoyment, while obtaining informative information in relation to the health and well being of their dogs.

For more information on Activity Dogs or the Dog Lover's Cruise, visit

Tags: dogs, activity dogs, dog lovers cruise, news, other news

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-08-07 16:01:18


The Work Dog - Tradies National Health Month

“It’s a pleasant sight at many building and work-sites when a four-legged companion is happily trotting around,” Nadia Crighton from PIAA member, Pet Insurance Australia says. “As we encourage all the tradies to engage in full health and body safety during this month, we are also asking to spare a thought for their canine companions.

The National Health Month set up by Steel blue and the Australian Physiotherapy Association is focusing on education with a range of handy tips and hints tailored to the needs of tradies.

“There are some great tips we can do to ensure the safety and health of the tradies dog,” Nadia Crighton says. “Basic things like ensuring there is ample shade, and water, plus ensuring the dog is safe at all times.”

Most working dogs laze the day away in the sand and shelter of a work truck.

“Being out and about on the job is what a tradies dog loves most,” Nadia Crighton from PIA says.

“Because of this it’s also important to ensure information like registration and microchip details are up-to-date.”

PIA also encourages those with working dogs to have a relevant dog emergency kit at hand.

“Also think about giving your dog, and yourself, an annual Dr. check-up,” Crighton suggests. “Make this the month that you review your own safety practices and the health and safety of your dog, on site.”

Image via The Daily Telegraph

The Tradies Dog Check List

  • Registration 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Heart-worm prevention 
  • Fleas, worms, ticks 
  • Teeth 
  • Joint mobility 
  • Check your dogs leash and tags for wear and tear 
  • Check your tether chain for length and wear on ute trays 
  • Routine vet check-up 
  • Mirco-chip – up-to-date information 
  • First aid kit 

Tags: dogs, tradies, pet insurance australia, news, tradies national health month, other news

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-08-07 15:59:52


Red Imported Fire Ants, Detection Exercise - 2015

In November 2014, a nest of Red Imported Fire Ants, a serious exotic pest, were detected at a port facility at Port Botany, Sydney. The nest was quickly destroyed with baits and no further detections of the pest have been reported.

To ensure the Red Imported Fire Ant has been eliminated and hasn't spread, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services are undertaking extensive surveillance throughout August.

From 20 July 2015 for four to five weeks, an ongoing systematic surveillance campaign will be undertaken of commercial premises and public land in the area. This surveillance includes, but is not limited to, inspection of port facilities, industrial land, roadsides, beaches, playgrounds, golf courses and cemeteries.

Red Imported Fire Ants are a serious exotic and aggressive pest that can inflict painful bites on people, pets and livestock. The NSW Department of Primary Industries is calling on everyone to be vigilant and keep an eye out for these pests who can cause serious injury to pets.

If anyone suspects the presence of an exotic pest they should contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. For more information on the Department's detection and elimination process, watch this video:

Tags: pests, pest control, red imported fire ants, fire ants, ants, news, other news

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-07-31 09:36:51


"Good Samaritan" law passed in Tennessee

As of July 1, 2015, Tennessee has become the first state in the USA to allow good Samaritans to break a window to save a pet. This interesting development begs the question will Australia follow suit?

The Tennessee "Good Samaritan" law has now expanded from just children trapped inside vehicles to include pets. The law now reads, "As enacted, adds animals to the existing procedure that confers immunity from liability on a person for damage caused by breaking into a locked vehicle for the purpose of extracting a child in danger." These changes mean that those acting to save a trapped pet will be free from any liability including damages to the cars in which the pet is trapped.

In December 2014, the NRMA claims to have rescued over 100 pets from Australian cars. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, there are serious fines and prison sentences for people whose pets are locked in a hot car. If an animal suffers as a result of being left in a car, the maximum penalty is $5,500 and can carry a six-month prison sentence. If an animal dies as a result of being left in a car, the maximum penalty is $22,000 and can carry a two-year prison sentence. However, Australian law is still grey on whether a "Good Samaritan" can break into a car to save a stranded pet, without suffering legal consequences.

Tags: pets, good samaritan law, tennessee, usa, news, other news

Posted by: Stan Barrow
On: 2015-07-27 08:27:26