RSPCA acted quickly over COVID-19 border closures
Over a long period of time with the RSPCA, I never seen anything like the impact COVID 19 has had on the WA community and on our organisation.
The effects of the lockdown to prevent the virus spreading impacted socially and economically on everyone in all regions across the State. None of us have been spared.
In the early stages of the lockdown, travel restrictions were imposed between regions of the State. RSPCA WA received third-party reports of people unable to cross borders to care for animals that were located on different properties away from the main residence of the owners or people who normally look after them.
We also heard reports of others involved in animal care and welfare being stopped at intrastate borders including stock feed deliveries, hobby farm owners and farriers and others involved in the horse industry.
RSPCA WA acted quickly to make sure animal welfare was front and centre of mind of decision makers in government. We contacted the State authorities to make sure that animals could still be cared for regardless of where the owners or people responsible for their care live. Our prompt action also ensured RSPCA WA inspectors could cross regional borders to carry out their work.
The borders are mostly re-opened now and we’re proud of the role we played in helping everyone care properly for their animals during what has been and still is a very uncertain time.
In troubled times, RSPCA WA will go the extra mile to care for animals in need. Despite the restrictions and loss of income, we have kept our frontline animal care services operating, thanks to the dedication and commitment from our teams on the ground. RSPCA WA Inspectors remained available to respond to genuine cruelty complaints received through the 24-hour Cruelty Hotline. Observing strict biosecurity protocols are part of normal daily operations for our Inspectors because they often visit farms and veterinary clinics and we also have biosecurity requirements at our Animal Care Centre at Malaga. The Inspectors have adopted additional biosecurity measurers to limit the risk to themselves and to the community from COVID-19 while they continue to carry out their work.
It has been a tough few months for everyone and we hope that the worst really is over and we can move steadily towards life as we knew it before COVID-19. We are thankful we have been able to keep our staff safe and well and to help people in regional areas care for their animals.