ANIMAL WELFARE —
DOMESTIC ANIMALS — KIMBERLEY
1119. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:
I refer to the ABC Kimberley story '''Crisis
Level' means healthy puppies, kittens in the Kimberley could be killed
if no-one lends a hand'' from 25 August about the developing crisis in
animal welfare in the state's far north.
proactive measures has the government taken, or does it plan to take, to reduce
the ongoing demand for these kinds of shelters for domestic animals?
(2) What plans
does the government have to assist groups like Saving Animals from Euthanasia—SAFE—in
the Kimberley to deal with the increasing numbers of stray, abandoned and
neglected animals that it is having to deal with on a daily basis?
(3) Will the state
government commit to funding a full-time RSPCA animal welfare inspector to
address the significant level of need identified in the state's far
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question.
is a complex issue. The last couple of times that I have been to Broome, I certainly
have spoken to members of the community about SAFE. I can say that one of the
things that we are doing is we have really expanded the program of going into
remote communities and sterilising dogs. We have really upped the funding to
the maximum that the Murdoch University veterinary school can deal with. Through
the process of going into communities to
sterilise dogs, and at the same time through the Department of Health,
we are educating people about the problems in controlling dogs. We have been
taking that proactive measure to try to address this problem at source. We do
not have a direct responsibility for the running of shelters, but this is an
issue that obviously needs more work. As the member knows, we are currently
undertaking an animal welfare review, and there may be something that comes out
of that review. We are well aware of the challenges and difficulties that the
RSPCA has been experiencing. It is contracted to be the primary responder to
reports of cruelty to animals, particularly companion animals. We have recently
given a two-year extension to the RSPCA contract. We have backdated consumer
price index increases to 2011 because it is quite improper that it had not been
receiving CPI increases. But we do recognise that there is a problem in the
north, and we are currently negotiating and discussing with the RSPCA how we
can improve those services.