Parliamentary Inquiry Questionnaire

Earlier this year, the NSW Legislative Council established a committee to inquire into the administration of animal cruelty legislation in NSW. This includes the RSPCA NSW Inspectorate’s role in enforcing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979).

The committee has now launched an online questionnaire to hear from interested parties on this matter. The questionnaire asks whether RSPCA NSW is an appropriate organisation to investigate animal cruelty, or it should be handled by the government or other parties.

For 90 years, RSPCA NSW’s Inspectorate has steadfastly and effectively protected the animals in our state. Our Inspectorate are specially trained to address animal welfare, responding to more than 15,500 reports from the public each year.

If you believe it is in the best interest of the animals for our Inspectorate to continue to enforce our state’s animal welfare laws, please help us today by completing the online questionnaire by Friday 29 November 2019.

The questionnaire was not created by us, so please read it carefully and respond thoughtfully.

Frequently Asked Questions

The committee will be investigating non-government agencies who enforce POCTAA, which includes RSPCA NSW along with Animal Welfare League.

The inquiry will commence in the third week of October 2019 and report by 2 April 2020.

The Honourable Mark Pearson of the Animal Justice Party, who sought to convene the committee, will be the Chair of the committee.

It will be comprised of:

  • Three Government members
  • Two Opposition members
  • Three crossbench members, including:
    The Hon. Mark Banasiak (Member of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party)
    The Hon. Ms Abigail Boyd (Member of The Greens)
    The Hon. Mr Mark Pearson (Member of the Animal Justice Party)

RSPCA NSW’s Inspectorate investigates complaints of animal cruelty. The most common complaints are failure to provide adequate and proper food, shelter or veterinary treatment. Inspectors also investigate:

  • abandoned animals
  • acts of intentional cruelty and harm
  • continually tethered animals (longer than 24 hours at a time)
  • drought-stricken livestock (subject to provisions outlined in s8(4) of POCTAA)
  • people with more animals than they can look after
  • pet shops
  • animal breeding facilities
  • sale yards

Not only do inspectors enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, regulations and associated Animal Welfare Codes of Practice, they also deliver education to the community through presentations, and targeted animal welfare advice when working with individual animal owners who are the subject of animal cruelty complaints. Where possible, inspectors will work with animal owners to improve the welfare of animals in their care. They also sit on advisory committees, perform animal rescues and assist other agencies such as Department of Primary Industries, National Parks, Police and Local Councils in welfare-related issues.

The Inspectorate also has a legal team who prosecute animal cruelty offences.

There are 32 inspectors in NSW which consist of the Chief Inspector, a Deputy Chief Inspector, four team leaders, seven north regional inspectors, seven south regional inspectors and 12 Sydney metropolitan inspectors. It is a hardworking team with a lot of ground to cover and thousands of animals requiring our assistance.

Our inspectorate investigated 15,673 cruelty reports in the last financial year. This led to the commencement of 77 prosecutions in the same financial year.

RSPCA NSW will fully cooperate with the proposed inquiry into the administration of animal welfare legislation in NSW.

RSPCA NSW supports our team of hardworking inspectors. We firmly believe that supporting our Inspectorate is in the best interest of the animals of New South Wales, and we will champion the value, importance and relevance of their role. As such, we are open and willing to share any and all necessary information required of us by the select committee.

The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the inquiry have been released, and any developments and the results relating to this inquiry will be publicly available here.