If the Minister for Agriculture were to endorse at least one officer from each local council under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) provisions (section 18), this would add at least 120 new animal welfare officers/inspectors to combat animal cruelty within their area. This would alleviate the workload of authorised enforcement agencies i.e.( RSPCA/VicPol) in the town or city in which an alleged offence has occurred. A section should also be added into POCTA as it was back in the 80’s before it was repealed, that half of the fines from a successful prosecution be paid to council and the other half to state revenue. This would also give council an incentive to work toward costs as RSPCA now do subsequently no out of pocket expenses.
In the past I have advocated for an Independent Office of Animal Welfare, but further research and forward thinking has changed my mind and I therefore submit the following suggestions regarding the above.
There are 120 municipalities in the state of Victoria, each have a local laws team that deal with animals including the Domestic Animals Act and other related acts of parliament. Some councils/shires may already have their officers endorsed under section 18 of POCTA to enforce and act under the provisions of POCTA.