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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Animal cruelty

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Sue Arnold Australians for Animals Inc

There’s a serious ongoing animal welfare crisis on the north coast. I was recently contacted by a licensed wildlife carer about a cow and calves being held in a pen for three days without food, shelter or water.

It was 7.30am and I wanted to get help asap. I called the Brunswick police station as police have the same powers as the RSPCA.

The constable who answered my call at Brunswick was rude, abrupt, unhelpful and dismissed me telling me I had to call the RSPCA. I called the RSPCA cruelty line and received a recorded message saying they only worked business hours and out of these hours to call the local police.

I called back Brunswick police, got an ear full, and the constable said, ‘Well call the RSPCA in business hours.’

I highlighted this was an urgent situation and she said, ‘it will go on the list’. I asked if someone would go out today, she said ‘Yes’, and hung up on me.

I called the RSPCA when it opened expressing concern at the lack of emergency number. It turns out the RSPCA has only one ‘regional’ inspector covering from Coffs Harbour to the Qld border. It is outrageous there is only one inspector available at a time when animal cruelty is increasing.

Under the Prevention of Cruelty Act the police have a duty to enforce the Act. There’s no need to be unpleasant to people reporting cruelty.

As for the RSPCA, it’s an absolute disgrace that there’s only one inspector. This is a policy decision as there are more than adequate funds.

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