Animal cruelty a problem

By Kyabram Free Press

MORE than 100 animal cruelty reports were made in Campaspe Shire in one year.

Yet most never make it to court – and not even two a year end in a conviction.

According to RSPCA Victoria’s Annual Cruelty Report, our shire had 108 cruelty reports from 2017-18, ranking 36th of Victoria’s 79 local council areas and 21st on a per capita basis.

This represented 14 per cent of cases in the Loddon Mallee.

RSPCA Victoria chief executive Liz Walker said she was disappointed for the third consecutive year that issues with providing the most basic standards of living for animals – meaning sufficient food, water and shelter — made up the highest proportion of offences reported.

‘‘It breaks our hearts to see our inspectors and vets attend to so many animals that are severely malnourished and ill, who clearly haven’t been shown even the most basic level of care,’’ Dr Walker said.

‘‘These statistics reflect that there is still a lot of important work that needs to be done to educate Victorians and improve animal welfare in our communities.’’

A landmark study into penalties for animal abusers has found there have only been 15 cases of animal cruelty heard in Echuca Magistrates Court in 10 years.

One of those included a Tongala man who was convicted last year of animal cruelty, fined $4000 and banned from owning any animal for three years.