Introduce a legal duty of care for all animals

 

“Did you know that my owner has no legal duty of care to provide for my welfare beyond my basic needs of food, water and shelter? All I want to do is go for a run in the park but I’m stuck in this tiny backyard all day long with no exercise or companionship. I’m so bored and miserable.”

RSPCA Victoria is calling for ‘duty of care’ to be included in animal welfare legislation. In practice, failure to provide appropriate care for an animal is only prosecutable once harm has been caused. Legislating a duty of care to animals would shift the focus of the law from the suffering and harm of the animal, to clearly articulating the responsibility of owners to provide for their needs. This would enable authorised officers to engage in early intervention and work constructively with owners to prevent animal suffering from occurring.

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