14 April, 2023
MP slams animal welfare priority
SOUTH West Coast MP Roma Britnell has condemned $1.25 million in state government support for rehoming animals.
Ms Britnell said she supported animal welfare but criticised the funding while $6 million for the “much-needed” Warrnambool-based residential rehabilitation facility ‘The Lookout’ remained without a funding commitment.
Ms Britnell’s comments came after Labor member for Western Victoria and Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney joined RSPCA Victoria this week to announce the further $1.25 million for organisations which provide rehoming services for cats and dogs.
RSPCA Victoria praised the funding as a much-needed lifeline as shelters across Victoria, including Warrnambool, have struggled to find homes for animals in care.
“RSPCA Victoria takes in more than 14,000 seized, stray and surrendered animals across our state each year,” RSPCA Victoria chief executive officer Dr Liz Walker said.
“The funding provided through this program is vital for helping us care for, rehabilitate and prepare these animals for their forever homes.”
Ms Britnell said the funding was “disappointing”.
“It is disappointing that the Andrews Labor Government can find $1.25 million to rehome animals, but cannot find $6 million to establish a residential rehabilitation facility in Warrnambool,” she said.
“While animal welfare is important, human welfare should be Daniel Andrews’ top priority.”
Ms Britnell said a residential rehabilitation facility in Warrnambool was an urgent need which should be prioritised by the State Government.
“The lack of services in this region is forcing people to travel long distances or go without the help they need,” she said.
“The Andrews Labor Government cannot continue to ignore the needs of the South West Coast community.
“The Andrews Labor Government must get their priorities right and recognise the importance of investing in human welfare and fund ‘The Lookout’ in this year’s state budget.”
Animal welfare has been stated as a priority for the Victorian Government, which includes a record $18.6 million package to support animal care and protection in the Victorian Budget 2022/23.
The State Government has also made a push to modernise the Victoria’s animal care and protection laws through replacing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Draft legislation on the new laws was expected to be released later this year for industry and community consultation.