Animal welfare roles and responsibilities

Page last updated: Thursday, 22 February 2018 - 3:06pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Roles and Responsibilities of RSPCA, Local Government and State Government inspectors and WA Police

Roles and responsibilities of RSPCA

The RSPCA WA takes the lead in the area of companion animal welfare. The RSPCA general inspectors work with DPIRD in the area of compliance and enforcement. The Western Australian Government supports the RSPCA in its work pursuing companion animal welfare compliance and responsible pet ownership through a funding grant of $500,000 per year.

The RSPCA's general inspectors enforcement and compliance responsibilities include:

  • receiving and investigating complaints of animal cruelty
  • undertaking inspections and other compliance activities for non-commercial livestock and companion animals
  • educating members of the public on responsible pet ownership practices
  • conducting enforcement activities, including prosecution where appropriate.

DPIRD acknowledges that the RSPCA may have or advocate policies that differ from those of the Western Australian Government. However, the RSPCA separates their compliance and enforcement role and policies from their other policies.

Roles and responsibilities of Local Government and State Government inspectors and WA Police

Some local government rangers are appointed as general inspectors under the Act and, depending on their location, may investigate animal welfare matters related to both companion animals and livestock. General inspectors employed by DBCA only deal with welfare issues related to native animals.

General inspectors who are employed by a local government have all the powers of a general inspector but are limited by the Act in the following ways:

  • the person is only a general inspector for the district of the employing local government
  • the person may only exercise their powers of an inspector outside of their district where:
    • it relates to an offence reasonably suspected to have been committed in the inspector’s district
    • the local government of the area has authorised the inspector to exercise their power in the district, or
    • the inspector considers the situation to be an emergency.

All WA police officers have the powers of a general inspector and exercise those powers as appropriate.