Animal Welfare Liaison Unit or Taskforce to be established in the NSW Police Force

Animal welfare has become a leading concern in Australia over the last few years. However the leading authority for animal welfare, the RSPCA, has stated that they plan to move away from inspections as the amount of complaints and the area to cover is overwhelming. CEO of RSPCA NSW Mr. Steve Coleman said, “It is impossible to care for every animal across the state. Demand is going up and unfortunately costs are also going up. Historically the RSPCA has always been reactive, i.e. adding inspectors and sheltering capacity. However, if we double the existing resources it would still not be enough…..five years ago I decided that we would have no more inspectors and no more shelters,” (Katoomba Chamber of Commerce, 12th July 2014).

 Also, the RSPCA has a policy to not follow up anonymous animal cruelty complaints. This leaves a large gap of animal cruelty issues that are potentially not investigated – especially where whistleblowers are fearful of the perpetrators, or are concerned with other forms of backlash from making complaints.

Further, the police are the only body with the expertise to deal with complex animal cruelty issues which are often linked with other crimes such as domestic violence, drug use, human battering and illegal gambling. For example, 71-83% of females in domestic violence situations report abuse or killing of a companion animal by their batterer- and will often remain in an abusive relationship to protect the animal (Ascione, F.R. (1998). Battered women's reports of their partners' and their children's cruelty to animals, Journal of Emotional Abuse, 1, 119-133). 

Please send all signed hard copies to the Animal Liberation office at Suite 506, 89 York St, Sydney 2000.

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