After 130 years of service in Western Australia, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has seen all of it — from an injured pig stopping freeway visitors through the morning rush, to underground pet farms and ‘pet pelting.’
Martyn Beaumont was one of the organisation’s longest-serving officers, working with the WA society for 27 years between 1980 and 2007, and with the British RSPCA for 15 years earlier than that. He acquired a number of commendations for bravery.
Beaumont mentioned attitudes in direction of animal welfare had shifted over the years, together with throughout the authorized system, however there was nonetheless a great distance to go.
COVID created its personal set of points and whereas he had retired earlier than the primary lockdown, he mentioned others on the RSPCA had advised him there had been an inflow of animals surrendered through the previous few years, which he labelled “the right thing to do” moderately than to neglect them.
“In the early days, I worked under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which meant we could take people to court only when we absolutely had to and the fines then were very minimal,” he mentioned.
“It’s only since the push to change the Act, which eventually happened with the Animal Welfare Act of 2002, that things changed dramatically, fines were tremendous, and with jail terms as well.”
Before the legal guidelines modified, Beaumont was despatched to a number of instances of animal cruelty, together with investigating the Moscow Circus, arrange on Perth foreshore, for having a child hippo in a tank, and rescuing a pig caught on the Mitchell Freeway.
He additionally raided a breeding operation in Wanneroo the place canines had been being stored underground, comparable to a newer case in South Doodlakine in 2014.
“I think the worst type of complaints I have encountered … with our long hot summers, it’s unbelievable that people will just pop into the shop and leave the (car) windows up and the dog inside. I’ve seen some terrible results,” Beaumont mentioned.