A recent announcement that the Victorian Government will fund a proposed new public sector group to ensure compliance of animal welfare laws raises questions as to why state funding should continue to prop up RSPCA Victoria, Member for Northern Victoria Daniel Young said.
The Government will establish Animal Welfare Victoria in February next year to focus on animal welfare research, policy, education and compliance. Yet the Andrews Government already gives millions of taxpayers’ dollars to the Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Victoria) specifically to enforce animal welfare compliance, Mr Young said.
“In an attempt to clarify why the Government needs multiple bodies to enforce animal welfare compliance, I asked the Minister of Agriculture if there would be a removal of enforcement powers held by the RSPCA,” Mr Young said. “I was bemused by the Minister’s reply that welfare officers will continue not only through the RSPCA but also through three state organisations and local governments, with no explanation as to why.
“If current animal welfare compliance efforts are inadequate, then we should look at removing the current structures – not adding another level of insufficient enforcement.”
A member of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Mr Young took particular aim at RSPCA Victoria, which has come under criticism the past year due to its failure to adhere to its mission as an animal welfare charity. Instead, an internal investigation found that the RSPCA had adopted animal activist ideology and practices that actively campaigned against Victorian laws.
“The RSPCA’s tarnished record and inability to be held accountable to taxpayers begs the question as to why the Government feels the need to continue financing the RSPCA while creating yet another enforcement body,” Mr Young said.