The uncertainity of the RSPCA in Launceston and Tasmania was a major concern for all in 2018.
In March, The Examiner revealed the animal welfare agency would be closing its Hobart doors.
What followed was a close inspection of the Launceston operations. Something had to change for the RSPCA in terms of service delivery and core priorities.
Further, there were questions around the Launceston centre servicing greater Launceston. Yet, it was the City of Launceston council contributing funds to the centre. This is despite other council areas benefiting from the service.
At the forefront of discussions was the ongoing systematic issues within the RSPCA with a focus on animal management and sustainability.
The questions in relation to who was responsible for the cat and dog management and whether the levels of government – local and state – could or should be doing more.
It’s a confusing system with dog and cats mixed. Dogs are managed by individual councils, where as cats fall under the Cat Management Act at a state level.
Removing all the politics and legislation – the key question remained about the primary priorities for the RSPCA.
The organisation admitted it had bitten off more than it could chew on a state level. They had to consolidate for the animals.
What remained was a key message – the RSPCA was here to stay in Tasmania. The organisation, which has a long history and built up trust in the community, will focus on inspectorate services and strengthening animal welfare by removing the focus off shelters.
Thankfully there are other great organisations in Tasmania who can provide care and adoption programs.
Another key stakeholder in the protection and management of animals is the community. Pet owners must increase their responsibility. To have more than 100 kittens handed in within five days is staggering and preventable.
Everyone has a role to play to help improve animal welfare and outcomes in our community.