RSPCA Victoria welcomes invitation to respond to proposed new animal welfare legislation

Attributed to Dr Liz Walker, CEO, RSPCA Victoria

“RSPCA Victoria is pleased to see the Victorian Government’s invitation to Victorians to have their say on a new Animal Welfare Act. We commend the government’s commitment to review Victoria’s animal welfare legislation and as the most trusted animal welfare organisation in Victoria, look forward to seeing the development of this important work to develop a contemporary Act.

“RSPCA Victoria has over 30 years of experience in enforcing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTAA) and receives the majority of animal cruelty complaints in the state. Our Inspectors are a highly dedicated and experienced team whose enforcement of the Act has seen RSPCA Victoria prosecute more than half of animal cruelty cases in Victoria over the last ten years and respond to over 11,000 reports of cruelty and neglect each year.

“Therefore RSPCA Victoria is uniquely positioned to reflect upon and make recommendations about improvements to animal welfare legislation in Victoria. We believe that, while maintaining a prohibition on all forms of animal cruelty, there are several key areas that should be addressed for effective animal welfare legislation including recognition of animals as sentient beings, the imposition of enforceable minimum standards of care or a ‘duty of care’, expanded powers to allow animals to be rehomed rather than being kept for the duration of court cases and a model for enforcement that allows for more tools for Inspectors to intervene earlier.

“RSPCA Victoria encourages Victorians to view the key proposals for a new Animal Welfare Act, submit their views and have the chance to help improve animal welfare in Victoria by shaping new legislation.

“This new legislation will provide a more updated platform from which RSPCA Victoria will continue to work to make a better life for animals and end animal cruelty in Victoria.”

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