Animal Welfare at the Perth Royal Show

Animal Welfare at the Perth Royal Show

The Perth Royal Show is on again from Saturday 28 September and, while this is a chance for people to get a glimpse of agricultural life, many people will come into contact with animals during their visit.

In the lead-up to, and during, the Show, RSPCA WA often receives calls from members of the public who are concerned about the welfare of animals involved in the event.

RSPCA opposes the use of animals in any form of entertainment where injury, pain, suffering or distress is likely to be caused.  As the Perth Royal Show involves animals performing, being handled, and being exposed to crowds for long periods, welfare must be a top consideration at all times.

Training methods for animals used for performing should be based on techniques using natural instincts and positive reinforcement. It is also important that animals used in performances are treated with respect and not objectified or subjected to indignity or ridicule.

The Royal Agricultural Society of WA, which operates the Perth Royal Show, has an Animal Welfare Policy, which states: “All owners and/or appointed guardians of animals on RASWA property are reminded of their duty of care to take all reasonable measures to ensure the welfare of their animals”.

The RASWA Animal Welfare Statement can be accessed in full here.

RSPCA WA would encourage anyone who witnesses something that doesn’t meet their expectations on animal welfare to first raise the issue with the people in charge of the animals on site, if they’re comfortable doing so.

Additionally, they should direct any concerns to the Royal Agricultural Society of WA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. This kind of feedback is crucial in helping the Department identify matters of community concern which require attention.

If people have legitimate concerns that an animal is experiencing cruelty or neglect, they should report this to RSPCA WA online or by calling 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358). RSPCA WA Inspectors can only respond to reports where cruelty under The Animal Welfare Act 2002 is suspected.

A further issue raised in relation to the Perth Royal Show is the use of fireworks. People who live in the vicinity are reminded to secure their pets and ensure their comfort during nightly displays.

Pet owners should also ensure microchip contact info is up-to-date, so they can be quickly reunited with their pet if they manage to escape during the fireworks.

Further reading:

Tips to keep pets safe and calm during fireworks

RSPCA’s position on performing animals.

RSPCA’s policy on animals in sport, entertainment, performance, recreation and work

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