2 June, 2020

RSPCA WA has today welcomed two major milestones in improving the lives of countless animals around Western Australia.

The animal welfare charity said it had played an integral part in the review process and broadly supported the State Government’s response to the independent review of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (the Act), released today.

CEO Ben Cave said the RSPCA was encouraged by the government’s commitment to improving animal welfare.

‘We worked extensively with the Animal Welfare Act review panel and I’m so pleased to see many of the recommendations put forward by RSPCA WA supported,’ Ben said.

‘For example, the government agrees with us that a ‘duty of care’ obligation be included in the Act and that it would be an offence to breach it.

It is great to see the Government support the panel’s recommendation that the Act expressly recognise that animals are living beings, able to perceive, feel, and have positive and negative experiences—this will have a profound and far-reaching effect on animal welfare across the board.’

The independent review recommended the government inquire into the sufficiency of resources relevant to the enforcement of the Act by all organisations, including the RSPCA. This recommendation, along with the recommendation that all appointed inspectors be fully funded by the State, would help correct the current situation where the majority of costs of enforcing the Act are covered by donations and bequests from its generous supporters.

In other welcome news, the McGowan Government also reintroduced a bill to stop puppy farming into parliament today.

RSPCA WA said the Stop Puppy Farming legislation was vital to prevent cruelty, neglect and abandonment of dogs.

‘We need to put an end to indiscriminate backyard dog breeding in WA,’ Ben said.

‘The sooner the legislation comes into law, the sooner it will help prevent some of the suffering and cruelty to dogs that RSPCA WA inspectors see almost every day.’

‘The four key pillars to this legislation—mandatory sterilisation, registration of anyone wanting to breed from their dog, a centralised registration system, and pet shops that sell dogs to become adoption centres—will have a huge impact on the number of unwanted dogs and puppies in WA each year.’

‘Right now we have 20 puppies under 10 weeks old in care, seven new-borns waiting to travel to Perth from Kalgoorlie and we have a pregnant mum who is due to give birth any day. All were unplanned, and unwanted.

‘Today’s announcements give us hope there is real change on the way and we applaud the government for its actions to date.’