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Requesting Access to records of RSPCA Inspectors

If you would like to access copies of records held by RSPCA WA inspectors relating to their work under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 you will need make an Access Application under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act).  

Certain information about the work of RSPCA WA inspectors can be released under the FOI Act. This includes some information about their work in response to a cruelty complaint. 

However, the FOI Act also contains exemptions and limitations which can restrict the release of some documents, or restrict the release of certain details contained within documents. Exemptions under the FOI Act may prevent the release of:

  • private information about other individuals
  • confidential sources of information; or
  • certain aspects of law enforcement activities.

Applicants should be aware that “personal information” relating to complainants who make reports to RSPCA WA cannot be released.  “Personal information” includes information that can be used to identify a person such as the person’s name and contact details.

General information can be found on the Office of the Information Commissioner website

FOI Access Application process

You can lodge an Access Application with RSPCA WA by emailing us at rspca@rspcawa.asn.au stating that you would like to make an FOI Access Application. Your email should contain the following:

  1. a request with enough details to ensure that the requested document(s) can be identified; the request might include property details, animal details or relevant dates; please describe the documents you seek as precisely as possible;
  2. an Australian address, which can be an email address, to which notices can be sent;
  3. proof of identity such as a copy of your driver's licence.


If you do not have access to email, you can submit an Access Application by hand delivery to RSPCA Malaga premises or by post (PO Box 3147 Malaga WA 6944). In each case, the same details are required.


There is no application fee if the information sought is personal or about you.

If you wish to access non-personal information or information that is not about you, you will be required to pay a $30 application fee. If an application fee is payable, RSPCA WA will provide you with bank details so that payment can be made, once we receive your Access Application.

In addition, RSPCA WA may impose other fees under the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993 for the costs of processing an Access Application.  This includes staff time for dealing with the application, and photocopying.

Where the additional FOI fees are likely to exceed $30 we will provide you with an estimate of costs detailing the additional charges. This provides you with the opportunity to reduce the fees by reducing the number of documents requested.

If you are in a situation of financial hardship or the holder of a currently valid pensioner concession card issued on behalf of the Commonwealth, or any other pensioner concession card, RSPCA WA may reduce the fees by 25%.

Your Access Application can only be processed once any relevant fees are paid. 


From the date a valid Access Application is received (including payment of any fees) RSPCA WA has 45 days to issue a decision. In certain circumstances, for example where there is a large volume of documents, this timeframe may be extended with your agreement. If we do not provide you with a decision within 45 days or within any agreed extension of the 45-day timeframe, you can treat this failure as a refusal of your Access Application and exercise your right of review (see below).


If you are not satisfied with the FOI decision made in response to your Access Application you may lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner. Your notice of decision will contain the information you need to know regarding your review rights.