Call for more RSPCA staff

RECENT acts of horrific abuse of animals have led to a call for more RSPCA inspectors to be assigned to the Northern Rivers to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Animal welfare activist Sue Arnold said a press conference held yesterday reflected support for more inspectors from community leaders including Lismore and Ballina MPs Thomas George and Don Page, Richmond Area Command police, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, Catholic Diocese Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett and veterinary clinics throughout the Far North Coast.

Ms Arnold said the RSPCA has appointed only one inspector for the region with a population of more than 200,000.

"Veterinary clinic staff, who see the results of animal abuse at first hand, support the call for more inspectors," Ms Arnold said.

"The RSPCA won't appoint another inspector here. There's no reason why they should have a monopoly on animal welfare so it's time the NSW Govern- ment funded inspectors from recognised animal welfare organisations.

"Or they could provide funding for council rangers to be given limited powers under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals act."

An RSPCA spokesman said last night the organisation had decided to divert funding towards education in the interests of preventing cruelty to animals.



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