The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals legislation aims to:
- prevent cruelty to animals
- encourage the considerate treatment of animals
- improve community awareness about the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Provisions relating to horses include requirements to provide proper and sufficient:
- veterinary treatment.
There are offences for causing pain or suffering to an animal, whether intentionally or through neglect.
The legislation also contains a range of prohibited or regulated activities, devices and procedures such as:
- tail docking of horses
- firing (thermocautery) of horses
- use of twisted bits
- electronic shock/static collars
- electric prodders on horses
- the use of horses in rodeos.
What animal welfare covers
'Animal welfare' refers to how an animal copes with the conditions it lives in. An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by scientific evidence) it is:
- well nourished
- able to express innate behaviour
- not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress.
Good animal welfare requires:
- disease prevention and veterinary treatment
- appropriate shelter
- humane handling
- humane slaughter and killing.
'Animal welfare' refers to the state of the animal. The 'treatment of an animal' is covered by other terms such as:
- animal care
- animal husbandry
- humane treatment.
[OIE May 2008 - International Office of Animal Health]
Duty of care
'Duty of Care' is a legal obligation for people to take reasonable measures to protect the welfare of any animals that their activities impact upon.
Contact the RSPCA if you are concerned about welfare of a horse
If you are concerned about the welfare of a horse/s please contact the RSPCA Victoria.
The RSPCA Victoria has primary responsibility for investigating horse welfare concerns under a memorandum of understanding with us.
Reports of animal cruelty can be made:
- online at www.rspcavic.org.au
- or phone 03 9224 2222.