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RSPCA under the microscope

RSPCA under the microscope

Representatives from SSAA Victoria this week presented at the public hearings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into RSPCA Victoria.

Hunting Development Manager David Laird and Marketing and Communications Manager Caitlin Pearson called for the RSPCA to be stripped of its statutory powers and government funding following several misleading anti-hunting campaigns and a clear move into animal activism.

The Economy and Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Bernie Finn MLC, is considering the appropriateness of the RSPCA’s powers under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and how those powers have been used.

It is also investigating the appropriateness and use of funding provided by the Victorian Government, as well as any other matters the Committee considers appropriate.

At the public hearing, committee members thanked SSAA Victoria for an “interesting” presentation and asked several questions about hunting regulation. They also asked many questions about duck hunting season.

RSPCA Victoria also presented to the public hearing last week. During questioning, Chief Executive Officer Liz Walker said that, following an internal review last year, the organisation had shifted its advocacy focus.

She said the RSPCA was now working on stakeholder campaigns using “evidence rather than strong emotion to make change”.

“Our past campaigns on some issues may have hindered our ability to work with some stakeholders,” Dr Walker said.

She also acknowledged that her well-publicised venture into duck swamps during the hunting season with Animals Australia Campaign Director Lyn White was an error of judgement.

The committee will table its final report in Parliament by August 22, 2017.

Read SSAA Victoria’s submission to the inquiry here.