Crucial improvements for animal welfare

Published on 8 April 2024

RSPCA Victoria made its formal submission on the Victorian Government’s Exposure Draft of the new Animal Care and Protection Bill.

The submission sets out the changes RSPCA Victoria would like to see, including many to improve the ability of Inspectors to investigate animal cruelty cases.

Speaking about the submission RSPCA Victoria’s Head of Prevention, Rebecca Cook said this was a fantastic step in the process.

“We’re excited about the potential of the new Animal Care and Protection Act to provide a modern replacement for Victoria’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986,” Ms Cook said.

“The exposure bill includes key reforms for animal welfare including recognition of animal sentience and a legislated duty of care toward animals – two things we have been advocating for.

“Even more crucial are changes such as the introduction of indictable offences with harsher penalties for intentional cruelty, and having minimum care requirements legislated to help our Inspectorate when it comes to investigating the more than 10,000 reports of animal cruelty we receive each year relating to more than 13,000 animals across the state.

“In the last financial year our Inspectors seized or took surrender of 2,569 animals, some of which were rescued from horrendous living conditions, while also issuing a further 648 advisory letters and warning letters regarding at-risk animals.

“Our submission also outlines our hope to see the development of sentencing guidelines to support Magistrates to appropriately sentence offenders convicted of animal cruelty and making it an indictable offence to intentionally harm an animal – all these changes will help bring Victoria closer to ending animal cruelty.”

Read RSPCA Victoria’s submission online here.

About RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate:
RSPCA Victoria Inspectors are on the frontline 24/7, rescuing and protecting animals from cruelty and neglect, and helping those that are lost or in dangerous situations.

RSPCA Victoria is the only not-for-profit agency with the power to enforce legislation under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTAA) and Part 4 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (DAA). These pieces of legislation govern the circumstances where our inspectors can investigate or intervene.

In the 2022/2023 financial year it cost over $9 million to operate the RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate. This includes legal costs, caring for rescued animals and undertaking large scale operations.

The RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate is grateful for the $2.3M in support from the Victorian Government however relies on funding from the generous community through donations, fundraising and events to cover the $6.7M shortfall.

Your donation supports the Inspectorate to continue to help as many animals as possible. Learn more about RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate here.

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