A Victorian Parliament Inquiry into RSPCA Victoria has supported the organisation's move away from activism in relation to duck hunting and other legal activities.
The final report of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee was tabled in Parliament today.
The Committee found that many of the issues identified in the Inquiry evidence were historical issues associated with RSPCA Victoria animal rights activism. The Committee acknowledged that "Progress has been made to address these issues as a result of the Independent Review of the RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate in 2016."
The report notes the recommendations of the Comrie Review and RSPCA Victoria's response.
Committee Chair Bernie Finn said in the foreword to the report there had been "...good progress towards focusing on the prevention of cruelty to companion animals rather than engaging in animal rights activism."
"The RSPCA Victoria now needs to focus on developing stronger stakeholder relationships. Many of the organisations the Committee engaged with believe that a more collegial approach to prevention of cruelty to animals would be of great benefit to the sector."
Field & Game Australia and our colleagues at the Australian Deer Association made submissions to the Comrie Review and this Parliamentary Inquiry. The Comrie recommendations, adopted in full by RSPCA, resulted in it stepping away from emotive public activism , a recognition of the inherent conflict which we had been highlighting publicly for three years.
The Committee recommendations include that the Victorian Government and RSPCA Victoria provide more transparency, information and detail with regard to the powers of RSPCA
Victoria inspectors under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and the Memorandum of Understanding between the RSPCA Victoria and the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
It also recommended that RSPCA Victoria ensure that it investigates cruelty to commercial animals in emergency situations only, in line with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and that, in consultation with the Victorian Government, the organisation consider ways to improve engagement and collaboration with animal stakeholder organisations.
Stakeholder issues with the level of activism in some campaigns run by the RSPCA Victoria are justified according to the report although it acknowledged there was some confusion, and a number of the concerns raised related to campaigns run by RSPCA bodies in other jurisdictions.
The report reaffirms that all government grant funding provided to RSPCA Victoria’s inspectorate should be used for inspectorate purposes only.
You can read the full report here.
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