RSPCA ‘not up to the job’ of prosecuting cruelty cases
A LISMORE lawyer who spoke out last month about the failure of the RSPCA to protect animals has said the organisation should give up prosecuting animal cruelty cases entirely.
Angela Pollock from the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre was commenting about reports the RSPCA were not going to prosecute a Loftville resident whose malnourished horse had to be euthanized last month.
The RSPCA has since denied this, however, yesterday saying the investigation was ongoing and "no decision has been made regarding what further action may be taken".
A spokeswoman would not answer how many times RSPCA inspectors had visited the Loftville property in the last two years.
Ms Pollock said she understood a local property owner had observed the poor health of the horses over two years and made the RSPCA aware of their condition several times.
She said it appeared to be a clear case of animal neglect, and if the RSPCA was serious it would take action.
"I don't think there's any question here that the animal has died as a result of improper treatment," Ms Pollock said.
"It should be punished as an example to the community as much as anything else. It's in the public interest to show that we're serious about welfare."
She said due to lack of resources the RSPCA didn't have a very good track record with convictions.
"I think it's time the RSPCA gave up their investigation and prosecution powers and it should be in the hands of the police.
"They can call in the RSPCA if they want; (for) recommendations around the science or the veterinary issues."
She pointed out that the police could already prosecute animal cruelty cases, alongside the RSPCA, Animal Welfare League and the Department of Primary Industries.
"The RSPCA can just voluntarily walk away from that and I think the time has come for them to do that.
"They're not up to the job."