RSPCA Australia

RSPCA Australia

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia (RSPCA) is an organisation in Australia that promotes animal welfare. It is funded in part by the Australian Government but relies on corporate sponsorship, fundraising events and voluntary donations for its income.


Whilst the RSPCA in Australia is not directly linked to the RSPCA in the United Kingdom, it was in the UK that a society with the aim of preventing cruelty to animals was first formed.

On the evening of the 16 June 1824, a number of distinguished people, including William Wilberforce, assembled at the Old Slaughters' Coffee House in London. They were called together by the Rev. Arthur Broome, a London vicar to form a society which would support the working of Richard Martin's Act. This Act was passed on the 22 July 1822 and was against cruelty to farm animals, particularly cattle. The first animal welfare Society in any Country had been established.

The newly formed organisation did not at first employ Inspectors, but relied on a Committee to inspect the markets, slaughter houses and in the streets of the metropolis, the conduct of coachmen. Arthur Broome employed, at his own expense, a gentleman named Mr. Wheeler, who together with his assistant, Charles Teasdall, brought 63 offenders before the Courts in 1824. It was not until the late 1830s however, that the society started the tradition of the Inspector.

Unfortunately, the popularity of so called sports, such as cock-fighting, bull and bear baiting, and the initial reluctance of magistrates to convict offenders, made the early days an uphill struggle. Financial problems also slowed down progress; indeed Arthur Broome was imprisoned for the Society's debts. Gradually though, public support showed itself in the form of donations, and increased willingness to give evidence against offenders. Royal patronage was given to the Society in 1835 when the Duchess of Kent, and her daughter, Princess Victoria, become Lady Patrons. Further patronage was given to the Society in 1840, when Queen Victoria honoured the Society with the prefix "Royal". The Queen's disapproval of using animals for experimentation was instrumental in the passing of the first law against vivisection. By 1841 there were five Inspectors, each paid a guinea a week, based in London, who travelled to various parts of the Country bringing offenders before the Courts.

Extended history

The first meeting of the RSPCA was held in February 1981. During 1980, two meetings were held to determine the formation of a national RSPCA body. The objective of RSPCA Australia is to provide a national presence for the RSPCA movement and to promote unity and a commonality of purpose between the state and territory based bodies.

The Australian based RSPCA societies owe their origins to the SPCA movement in the United Kingdom. Although no formal link exists between the RSPCA in both countries it is the UK experience that lead to the formation of societies in the Australian colonies.

The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Australian was formed in the colony of Victoria in 1871. This was followed by Tasmania in 1872; New South Wales in 1873; South Australia in 1875; Queensland in 1883; Western Australia in 1892; Australian Capital Territory in 1955 and Northern Territory in 1965.

The Royal Warrant was given to all the SPCAs in 1956.

The national council of the RSPCA Australia meets three times a year. Each affiliate RSPCA has two members on the national council. The council meets to formulate new policies and offer advice to government and industry bodies on animal welfare issues.

The RSPCA Australia defines its purpose as being:
*"To prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection."
*"To be the leading authority in animal care and protection."

Mission statement

The Objectives of the Society are:
*To prevent cruelty to animals by enforcing the existing laws.
*To procure the passage of such amending or new legislation as is necessary for the protection of animals.
*To sustain an intelligent public opinion regarding animal welfare.
*To take whatsoever steps are necessary to educate the community with regard to the humane treatment of animals.
*To diffuse information about the care, protection and treatment of animals by publishing and circulating literature and conducting lectures, seminars and competitions.
*To conduct, manage, operate or encourage clinics, hospitals, homes or shelters for the care, treatment, maintenance and protection of animals, and to acquire and conduct ambulance and/or other means of relevant animal transport.

ee also

*Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
*Scottish SPCA
*American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
*Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA)
*Cruelty to animals
*Humane Society
*Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

External links

* [ RSPCA Australia - Official national website]

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