Advocacy at RSPCA Victoria


RSPCA Victoria advocates for changes in policy and practice that improves the welfare of animals. Given the breadth of animal welfare issues that still exist today, RSPCA Victoria prioritises its advocacy efforts to contribute to our vision of ending cruelty to all animals.

How does RSPCA Victoria advocate?


Developing a clear understanding of how decisions on animal welfare are made is central to our best-practice advocacy work. This means RSPCA Victoria maintains a strong working knowledge of who will make decisions on which issues, and how those decisions will be made (such as understanding political, parliamentary and government processes). It also involves monitoring the range of views and influences on issues by scanning and regular contact with key decision-makers and influencers.

For 2023 and 2024, RSPCA Victoria’s advocacy goals are:
  • Get hens out of battery cages
  • End duck shooting
  • Develop a national horse traceability system
  • Ensure the election priorities that were endorsed pre-election are implemented – such as a holistic cat management strategy, mandatory code of practice for the keeping of racehorses, CCTV in abattoirs and knackeries and the finalisation of the new Animal Welfare Act

More information on duck and quail hunting can be found here.

Our latest actions:

June 2023: RSPCA Victoria presented at a public hearing held by the Select Committee conducting the Inquiry into Victoria’s Native Bird Hunting Arrangements. The RSPCA is strongly opposed to recreational native bird hunting and provided recommendations based on welfare impacts including the wounding rate of birds that are shot but not killed outright during the open season each year. Read our full submission to the Inquiry here.

March 2024: RSPCA Victoria presented to the Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee as part of the Inquiry into Pig Welfare. We advocated for changes including limiting pig confinement systems, providing sows with nesting materials at least 48 hours before farrowing, banning single-loader carbon dioxide stunning systems and an end to painful procedures like teeth clipping and tail docking without pain relief. Read our full submission to the Inquiry here.

March 2024: Formal submission provided regarding recommended changes to the Exposure Draft of the new Animal Care and Protection Bill, including many that will improve the ability of our Inspectors to investigate animal cruelty cases. Read our full submission here.

April 2024: We made a formal submission regarding the Victorian Government’s draft Cat Management Strategy outlining our 17 recommendations for improvements. Read our full submission here.

View the recording of our 2023 Advocacy Launch Event:

Brown horse
For 2021 and 2022, RSPCA Victoria’s six advocacy goals are:
  • End duck shooting in Victoria
  • Ban battery cages in Victoria
  • Significant welfare improvements across the three racing codes
  • All owned and semi-owned domestic cats in Victoria are desexed
  • Wildlife legislation reform in Victoria
  • Animal Welfare Legislation Reform in Victoria

We believe these are the current ‘big ticket’ items for animals in Victoria. We chose these goals based on the scale and scope of each issue as well as the potential to achieve change for the animals affected.

By setting ourselves six focused goals we hope to achieve some real wins for animals. We’ll advocate in our usual RSPCA Victoria way – using an evidence-based, ethical approach and making sure we build direct relationships with policy decision-makers, industry and those who influence animal welfare policy and management.

What is animal advocacy?


Advocacy, to RSPCA Victoria, means the process of influencing decision-makers who determine policies that impact animals’ lives. In the animal welfare context, the decision-makers are generally government, regulators and industry and other influencers including industry (where they are not the decision-makers), media, interest groups, peak bodies, other non-government organisations and the community.

Effective advocacy relies on building and maintaining strong relationships to make sure RSPCA Victoria is at the table when decisions are being contemplated or made. If necessary, advocacy also involves holding decision-makers accountable, by calling out harmful law, policy or practice.

RSPCA Victoria advocacy wins

Our advocacy team have achieved some great wins to date!

  • In 2016, RSPCA Victoria successfully called for a repeal to Breed Specific Legislation, bringing attention to responsible pet-ownership and helping reduce stigma surrounding certain breeds.
  • In 2020, new laws on pet rental reform came into effect after years of campaigning from RSPCA Victoria. Landlords cannot unreasonably refuse tenants with pets.
  • In 2020, together with our partners, RSPCA Victoria developed Welfare Grooming Guidelines to help pet owners and groomers make decisions on when a welfare groom is required during COVID restrictions.
  • In 2021, new legislation was introduced to Victorian Parliament to directly reunite lost pets with their owners. RSPCA Victoria has been advocating for this change since prior to the 2018 state election. These changes mean that all vets and shelters will be able to immediately contact an owner about their lost pet, avoiding the need to send the animal to the local council pound.

To stay up to date with our advocacy work, drop us a line at advocating@rspcavic.org.au to join our mailing list.