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MEDIA RELEASE - Kelpie Muster attracts international journalist

Monday 3 June 2019

Japanese dog journalist Hiroyuki Igarashi is heading to the Australian Kelpie Muster this June long weekend with the aim of educating Asian citizens on the importance of good animal welfare.

Now based in Melbourne, the self-declared dog lover and owner of six year-old rescue dog Allie is using the Casterton festival to inspire new articles for his website What a Dog Says.

The website is edited by a team of journalists worldwide writing about the relationship between man and dog, sharing academic research and tips on good canine welfare.

Mr Igarashi said the site averaged about 800 readers per blog, however he has previously reached tens of thousands of readers keen to learn from his Australian-inspired adventures.

“In July 2018, (the) Government of Victoria put a law into force to prohibit selling dogs at pet shops, and I wrote about it to let Japanese people know. The column was read by around 50,000 people,” he said.

“We can still buy dogs and cats at the pet shop in Japan, so I think introducing this law in Victoria to Japan inspires the dog lovers in Japan.”

It is believed there are currently eight registered Kelpies in Japan, however Mr Igarashi believes it may be far greater.

He said Sweden had a huge following for the breed with about 1000 Kelpie dogs registered this year.

He plans to use the Casterton event as inspiration for his new title based on sheepdogs, following the success of his last title on Retrievers.

“I found the Casterton event because I have friends with a Kelpie and I started googling to learn more about the breed,” he said.

“I am interested to know how many people have Kelpie’s in Casterton … and learn how the owners and Kelpies live.

“I'm also interested to know whether there are any differences between the Kelpies life in the city and their life in Casterton.”

Casterton Kelpie Association president Karen Stephens said the committee was looking forward to welcoming Mr Igarashi, who was among a growing number of international visitors.

“The Kelpie Muster continues to appeal to a global audience. We have learnt that we have a family arriving from the Netherlands for this year’s event, with other visitors confirmed from Scotland and the UK who have learnt of our unique festivities and want to see the action first-hand,” she said.

“Having international journalists provide further coverage, and the hopes of breaking another world record at this year’s auction, will further assist to grow the profile of the event.”

To learn more about the June long weekend festivities, and for a full event schedule, visit

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