RSPCA NSW Blog
Reporting Animal Cruelty at RSPCA NSW
RSPCA NSW has Australia’s biggest squad of law enforcement officers dedicated to policing offences against animals. Our Inspectors investigate more than 15,000 complaints every year. RSPCA NSW inspectors investigate complaints against all kinds of animals in all kinds of situations. The most common complaints are failure to provide adequate and proper food, shelter or veterinary treatment.
Have you ever witnessed animal cruelty? REPORT it today on 1300 278 3589 or online here. Many complaints are dealt with on the spot by educating owners of their responsibility, other cruelty cases are referred to the courts for prosecution. If you have witnessed animal cruelty online or on social media and do not have all the details, please contact our team on 1300 278 3589 so we can assist you further. It is important to note that we legally cannot take reports of animal via social media.
What is animal cruelty?
Animal cruelty can take many different forms. It includes animal neglect, overt and intentional acts of violence towards animals, or the failure to provide for the welfare of an animal under your control. In addition to this, it is important to remember animal cruelty is not restricted to cases involving physical harm. Causing animals psychological harm in the form of distress, torment or terror may also constitute animal cruelty.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979) states that:
For the purposes of this Act, a reference to an act of cruelty committed upon an animal includes a reference to any act or omission as a consequence of which the animal is unreasonably, unnecessarily or unjustifiably:
(a) beaten, kicked, killed, wounded, pinioned, mutilated, maimed, abused, tormented, tortured, terrified or infuriated,
(b) over-loaded, over-worked, over-driven, over-ridden or over-used
(c) exposed to excessive heat or excessive cold
(d) inflicted with pain.
State and territory animal welfare legislation prohibits all forms of animal cruelty and imposes obligations on all animal owners to provide for the welfare needs of their animals. Breaching animal welfare legislation is a crime. Serious cases can result in large fines and imprisonment.
What can I do?
Remember to not get physically involved. Stay safe and record as much information as possible. Make sure to include anything relevant that could help prove the offence, taking note of time, place, situation and location. If you can, also take down the description of the possible offender. If vehicles are involved, note down the model, number, colour and make. If you have been threatened in anyway or feel unsafe, contact your local police straight away.
There are a few requirements needed to file a report.
- You must have seen / witnessed act of cruelty or result of the act/s.
- You must be at least 18 years old. If you are younger, you can talk to someone older and have them file a report.
- You must leave personal details. Rest assured, these details are strictly confidential and never passed on.
What can RSPCA NSW investigate?
RSPCA NSW is only legally able to prosecute infringements that directly contradict the Prevention to Cruelty Act 1979.
If you have seen something that doesn't seem right, report it or chat to our team on 1300 278 3589 who will be able to provide more information about what we can and cannot investigate.