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Tasmania Grapples With Rising Animal Cruelty Complaints Amid Cost Of Living Crisis

Tasmania has witnessed the impact of cost-of-living on pets, with 2,167 animal cruelty complaints made to RSPCA Tasmania’s hotline.

RSPCA’s spokeswoman said the organisation would help those who could not afford to look after their pets due to the cost of living crisis. 

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“We are very committed to making an effort to help people stay together. We can provide advice, food, and all sorts of things, where it’s clearly an issue of cost of living and not cruelty.”

While the total number of complaints rose slightly from the previous year, some locations experienced a significant drop in reported incidents.

According to RSPCA’s latest report, animal cruelty cases in areas like Glenorchy and Devonport emerged in the 2022-23 period. 

Glenorchy received 43 reports of animal cruelty, a slight decrease from the 47 complaints registered the year before. 

Similarly, Devonport saw its numbers drop to 30 complaints from 57 last year.

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RSPCA Tasmania said they received thousands of reports of animal cruelty each year, but only a handful usually reach the state’s courts. 

The organisation has investigated 1,903 allegations and conducted over 3,500 site visits this year.

“RSPCA Animal Welfare Officers will always assist animal owners or carer givers where they can,” said in a statement.

“Sadly, however, there are times when further enforcement action is necessary, or surrender of the animal is the best outcome for the owner and pet.”

Throughout the year, the officers took proactive measures by issuing 113 notices, sending 65 warning letters, serving one infringement notice, and laying 84 charges against seven defendants.

During these prosecutions, nine cases were successfully finalised, some of which had been in progress for extended periods.

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