Cruelty to animals on rise in region

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

The RSPCA is concerned about the volume of animal cruelty reports in the Great Southern, with figures revealing the number of complaints in 2017 is on track to eclipse last year’s total.

The animal welfare authority responded to 111 complaints in the Albany region in 2016 and has already responded to 64 complaints this year.

The most complaints in 2016 were lodged in Albany (24), Mt Barker (14) and Spencer Park (13).

Other suburbs to make the list were Lockyer, Bayonet Head, Mckail, Gledhow and Orana.

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The animal cruelty hotspots from January 1-August 18 this year show inspectors have responded to 64 complaints, with nine in the Albany area, nine in Lockyer and eight in Orana.

Other suburbs to make the list included Mckail, Yakamia, Spencer Park, Torbay and Gledhow.

An RSPCA WA spokeswoman said the numbers from the South West/Albany area had given cause for concern.

“There are already five new hotspots in the top 10 this year, and some of the repeat hotspot areas have already reached the same number of reports as last calendar year,” she said. “RSPCA WA relies on diligent and caring members of the community to be the eyes and ears for defenceless, voiceless animals.”

In the 2015-16 financial year, RSPCA inspectors investigated 6321 cruelty reports across WA.

Of those, more than 2000 reports involved livestock and more than 4000 included pets, injured wildlife, reptiles and animals in sport and recreation.

During the year there were 16 successful prosecutions and civil forfeiture applications, two prosecutions which were partly successful and one unsuccessful prosecution.

In February this year a man was jailed for 11 months after bashing a kangaroo to death in Bunbury in 2015.

It was believed to be the first jail sentence for someone charged with animal cruelty in WA.

Inspectors encourage anyone who sees animal cruelty to report it immediately to the 24-hour Cruelty Hotline on 1300 CRUELTY (278 3589).

2017 (Jan to Aug) — 64

2016 (Jan to Dec) — 111

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