RSPCA WA has appointed experienced animal welfare advocate, Iain Torrance, as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr Torrance, who is currently based in New Zealand, will commence in the role in March.

Mr Torrance is well known as a champion of animal welfare. He has held a number of key animal welfare roles in New Zealand and is currently Vice Chair of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), which provides independent advice to the New Zealand Government on animal welfare issues including policy and regulatory reforms.

Mr Torrance was formerly very involved with the SPCA, New Zealand’s largest animal welfare not for profit organisation. He was CEO of Wellington SPCA, Vice President and Chair of Royal New Zealand SPCA Board and also acted as national CEO while leading the recruitment of a full-time replacement. During this time, he led a major turnaround of the organisation by addressing serious financial, operational and reputational issues. He also led the rehoming of Wellington SPCA’s operations into an award-winning community facility, with a new focus on education to prevent animal cruelty.

Since leaving the SPCA in 2015, Mr Torrance continued his active involvement in animal welfare with roles on animal ethics committees, the animal welfare committee of Wellington Zoo Trust and NAWAC. His recent work with NAWAC included chairing a working group to introduce a Code of Welfare for Temporary Housing of Companion Animals and he was a member of the group which steered the introduction of animal welfare regulations to target low level offending.

RSPCA WA Board Chair, Lynne Bradshaw AM, said in addition to his passion for animal welfare, Mr Torrance would bring to the RSPCA WA extensive business experience gained in both commercial and not-for-profit organisations in many parts of the world. He has tertiary qualifications in organisational transformation and change and in telecommunications engineering.

Originally from the UK, he has worked internationally in private enterprise across a range of industry sectors. His most recent role was CEO of the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust, a public benefit entity which owns and operates public infrastructure including an airport, ports, electricity networks, fuel supplies, shipping, fishing quotas and other services supporting the social and economic development of these remote islands 800km off New Zealand’s east coast.

Mr Torrance said: “I am very much looking forward to the challenge of working with the RSPCA WA to improve animal welfare in Western Australia. “Our work in animal welfare will never be complete as there are always new issues emerging and there will always be more to do.

“It is time for me to return to the front line and I will be aiming to ensure RSPCA WA helps the ever-increasing number of animals in need. We live in challenging times and we must be the voice for those in our community who can’t speak for themselves. I am excited about the role and look forward to joining the team and helping to make a difference.”

Mr Torrance and his fiancé Monique have a rescued cat Monty who will also be moving to WA when he takes up the CEO position at RSPCA WA. In the meantime, Ben Cave will continue to in the role of interim CEO.