Attack on RSCPA a deliberate distraction

A call by the Shooters and Fishers Party for a Parliamentary inquiry into one of WA’s most respected community organisations appears a deliberate attempt to distract attention from ongoing animal welfare problems in WA, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says.

“If the Shooters and Fishers Party was genuinely concerned about the implementation of animal welfare laws in WA, it would be talking about the need to improve performance of the State’s Animal Welfare Unit,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The unit, which is within the Department of Agriculture and Food, is chronically under-resourced and is failing to keep up with need across Western Australia.

“Meanwhile, the RSPCA WA, which relies mainly on donations and fundraising and is greatly respected by the community, has been obliged to try to fill the gap that State Government underfunding has created.

“The RSPCA receives a small enough grant of money from the State Government to conduct animal welfare compliance and enforcement activities and it is empowered to do this under the Animal Welfare Act WA.

“But it is not enough: as community members can attest, there are ongoing breaches under the Act, issues in a broad range of contexts up and down this State and not enough services to address them.

“I challenge the Shooters and Fishers Party to substantiate its call for the RSPCA WA’s operations to be inquired into by citing evidence of any failures.

“Parliamentary inquiries are not instigated lightly as they consume public resources.

“The Shooters and Fishers Party has omitted to give any examples to show there is a problem with the RSPCA WA’s operations and as such, this call for an inquiry can only be seen as a deliberate distraction from ongoing animal welfare concerns in this State.”