Author Topic: Time for witnesses to have a legal obligation to report animal cruelty  (Read 719 times)

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Time for witnesses to have a legal obligation to report animal cruelty
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 07:20:41 PM »
Time for witnesses to have a legal obligation to report animal cruelty   
  •   The Weekly Times 
  • September 05, 2014 4:16PM
       Image: PETA height=366   Image: PETA
     
RECENT debates about animal cruelty have been heavily focused on the role of people who film without permission in agricultural facilities — most recently in shearing sheds and abattoirs — and then publish their footage online or via the media.


Sadly, the fate of the animals involved seems to have been lost in this debate.

So too has the fact, that in many cases of animal cruelty captured on camera, there are already eyewitnesses to the events being filmed.

The acts of senseless brutality on defenceless sheep exposed in footage from 19 Australian shearing sheds last month should have shocked the nation.

What it showed was totally unacceptable and is now under investigation by the RSPCA. But instead the debate became focused on the messenger and the message itself was lost.

The fact that others on the shearing line did not act to prevent such cruelty is something that we should all reflect on.

It should not have to take a person with a camera — anyone witnessing animal cruelty has a moral responsibility to report it to the relevant authorities.

But there are some people who, by the nature of their role, are in position of responsibility for the care and protection of animals.

These people are required to know what animal cruelty is and when action should be taken.

Changes need to be made to legislation to require the mandatory reporting of animal cruelty by such people.

Under mandatory reporting requirements, people who are in a position of responsibility for animal welfare would have a legal obligation to report it.

Increased reporting of animal cruelty will help improve awareness of what constitutes animal cruelty and create a culture where abuse and neglect is not tolerated.

Yes it will take funding, training and public education to put this proposal into place but the Australian community expects nothing less.

Anyone witnessing animal cruelty should act on their moral responsibility and report it, but it’s time for those people in a position of responsibility for animal welfare to have a legal obligation to report animal cruelty.

Heather Neil is the chief executive of RSPCA Australia
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http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/time-for-witnesses-to-have-a-legal-obligation-to-report-animal-cruelty/story-fnkerdb0-1227049214678