Statement from RSPCA WA CEO Ben Cave:
RSPCA WA welcomes the announcement that a re-elected McGowan Government will commit additional funding to support RSPCA WA’s animal protection work.
WA Labor’s pledge includes a $500,000 boost to RSPCA WA’s Inspectorate, which is responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act 2002. These funds would be used to support the metro Inspectorate and to begin expanding RSPCA WA’s footprint in regional and remote WA.
This pledge to increase total Government support would mark the first ongoing funding increase in a decade, and would go a long way in helping RSPCA WA meet community expectations, as demand for our services increases.
Additionally, WA Labor’s election commitment of $250,000 towards a pilot Pet Sterilisation Program for concession cardholders would have far-reaching benefits for animals across WA. This RSPCA WA-run program would help to begin addressing one of the underlying issues inspectors deal with on a daily basis, namely overbreeding and unwanted litters.
RSPCA WA also welcomes the McGowan Government’s continued commitment to amending the Animal Welfare Act 2002, which we have long argued is not fit for purpose. Having been actively involved in the review of this legislation, RSPCA WA eagerly awaits changes that will allow inspectors to be more proactive in addressing welfare concerns and meeting the community’s expectations.
RSPCA WA looks forward to seeing the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2020 passed as soon as possible after WA Parliament resumes, should Labor win the election. These laws will hold indiscriminate backyard breeders to account, and will again help reduce the number of unwanted dogs in WA.
More than three quarters of Western Australians say animal welfare is important, or extremely important, to them, and while RSPCA WA will continue to rely on the community for around 90 per cent of what it costs to carry out our work, we are incredibly grateful to have the McGowan Government’s support in expanding our services to help more animals in need.
RSPCA WA is also pleased to see the proposal to support smaller rescue groups with a $2 million grants program, recognising the immense collective effort it takes to care for animals in need throughout WA, and ensuring these groups remain viable and sustainable.