Iconic Australian movies such as Babe and Red Dog would never have seen the light of day if the RSPCA had its way, The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said today.
“In recent years the RSPCA’s mission has shifted from compassion and education to extreme animal activism to the point where they now resemble the political arm of PETA,” Senator McKenzie said.
“At the present time the RSPCA’s focus is spread far and wide and it is now opposed to animals in sports and entertainment, hunting, horse racing and farming, including Australia’s $2 billion a year livestock export trade.”
Senator McKenzie urged the RSPCA to switch its focus away from animal activism and back to its core work of animal welfare.
“In my home state, the RSPCA’s original focus was to promote the welfare of horses in colonial Victoria, the primary mode of transport at the time,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The RSPCA evolved into a body promoting welfare issues for domestic animals such as cats and dogs, and in more recent years it would be best known for its work running animal shelters and the successful Adopt a Pet program – a truly wonderful initiative.”
Senator McKenzie had been a lifelong supporter of the RSPCA however a recent letter from the RSPCA urging her to stop the live export trade, as well as its repeated attacks on law abiding hunters, forced her to change her mind.
“I will petition the Queen to highlight that the RSPCA’s are trading on the Royal Family’s status to attack Australian industry, film, sport and law-abiding hunters,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The Queen is a well-known farmer, hunter, horsewoman, owner of racehorses and a passionate animal welfare advocate as the patron of the RSPCA,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The Queen is living proof that hunting, farming, horse racing and animal welfare are not mutually exclusive pursuits.
“We know many of our farmers, hunters and those in our racing industry hold animal welfare close to their heart and at the front of mind.
“Our hunting community engages in some of the best examples of practical environmentalism.
“It was the duck shooters in Gippsland who saved the degraded wetlands, created protected habitats for ducks and ensured their survival because they had a vested interest in doing so.
“Equally our live export trade, which generates around $2 billion a year and 10,000 jobs, has positively influenced animal welfare conditions in our export countries, particularly those in Asia.
“Australia has put in place measures which lift the welfare standards in these countries to a point where only 0.16 per cent of our exported livestock face a potential adverse animal outcome.
“The RSPCA must understand that if we stop exporting livestock to these countries the gap will be filled by other countries that don’t maintain or enforce our high standards of animal welfare, which would lead to terrible outcomes.
“Instead of demonising our important local industries the RSCPA would be better placed spending its advertising dollars promoting our world leading animal welfare practices to other nations.”
Senator McKenzie’s resolve had been bolstered by recent comments from the former WA president of the RSPCA, Eric Ball, who said the iconic institution had lost its way.
“Eric Ball, who was awarded the Order of Australia medal for his service to animals, has turned his back on the RSPCA after witnessing what he describes as a culture of care and compassion being replaced by one of provocation and punishment,” Senator McKenzie said.
Senator McKenzie said she feared where the RSPCA would go next.
“Will the RSPCA call for a ban on fishing or a moratorium on killing cane toads?” Senator McKenzie said.