Unprecedented 350 per cent increase in funding for RSPCA SA to enforce new animal welfare laws

SA Gov

The RSPCA SA will receive a 350 per cent increase in funding over the next four years, most of which will go toward helping the organisation enforce South Australia’s new animal welfare laws.

The 2024-25 State Budget provides an extra $16.4 million over four years to RSPCA SA to deliver animal welfare compliance activities in accordance with the soon to be updated Animal Welfare Act 1985.

This is in addition to the $1 million provided to the organisation over four years by the Malinauskas Government upon its election.

The new money means the RSPCA SA will receive a total $22.6M over the forward estimates in recognition of the important work they do keeping animals safe from cruelty, abuse and neglect.

Currently, RSPCA SA inspectors investigate more than 4000 animal cruelty reports each year.

The funding comes as the Malinauskas Government delivers on its election commitment to undertake sweeping reforms to outdated animal welfare laws.

These major reforms to the both the Animal Welfare Act and the Dog and Cat Management Act will include sharp increases in penalties for those who neglect and abuse animals.

It also coincides with the recent opening of RSPCA SA’s new $28 million Animal Care Centre which is ushering in a new era for animal welfare in South Australia.

The centre, on the corner of Main South and Majors roads, O’Halloran Hill, has all staff, volunteers and animals located on the one purpose-built site for the first time.

The Government has provided a 70 year peppercorn lease for the seven-hectare site located within Glenthorne-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta National Park.

As put by Susan Close

I am pleased that the RSPCA SA, one of the most loved and trusted organisations in or state, will finally be properly funded to undertake the important work they do in keeping animals safe from abuse.

Chief Executive Marcus Gehrig and his team of dedicated staff and volunteers do an incredible job and now they will be properly resourced to ensure compliance under the new Act which we are hoping to introduce by the end of the year.

This large increase in funding recognises that community expectations around animal welfare have significantly increased and the important role the RSPCA SA plays in ensuring those who chose to abuse animals are both deterred and held to account.

As put by Marcus Gehrig, Chief Executive, RSPCA SA

We are grateful for the current governments and Minister Close efforts in working to raise the standards of animal welfare in South Australia to meet modern community expectations and the trust in RSPCA SA to enforce the law for vulnerable and at-risk animals, prevent cruelty and prosecute those who breach the Animal Welfare Act.

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