I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question in relation to the Moorook Animal Shelter.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: As the minister may be aware, there has been a significant amount of controversy surrounding the so-called no-kill Moorook Animal Shelter and the RSPCA intervention. On 6 March RSPCA inspectors, an animal behaviourist and an independent veterinarian attended the Moorook Animal Shelter with a warrant. Eight dogs and a kitten were removed from the shelter, and I am advised that three of the dogs and the kitten were later euthanased.
The shelter was also issued with a number of animal welfare notices with compliance requirements within a period of six weeks. On 4 April the RSPCA returned to the shelter to check on the progress of these orders and offer assistance if required. My questions to the minister are:
1.Can he advise what the outcome has been?
2.Did the government provide any assistance to the Moorook Animal Shelter in meeting the orders made by the RSPCA?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) (14:31): I thank the honourable member for her very important question and her ongoing interest in these matters. I am advised that inspectors employed by the RSPCA executed a primary enforcement function prescribed under the Animal Welfare Act 1985 and its subordinate legislation in relation to the Moorook Animal Shelter. I have been advised that since 2009 the RSPCA has received a number of complaints regarding the welfare of animals at the Moorook Animal Shelter.
RSPCA inspectors have attended the Moorook Animal Shelter on several occasions in the past and have given directions in accordance with their powers under the act. I understand that after receiving a complaint recently the RSPCA inspectors sought and obtained an unrestricted warrant to access the Moorook premises. As a result of the inspection conducted by the RSPCA inspectors under warrant, I am advised that a number of animals were surrendered and the owner of the Moorook premises was provided with five animal welfare directions in relation to all the animals on the property, which must be complied with by 24 April 2013.
I have been further advised by my department that follow-up inspections were carried out by the RSPCA inspectors to ensure that the directions they issued were being met. I am advised that no animals were removed on these occasions and further directions were issued, which must be complied with by 25 April 2013. I understand that the RSPCA will continue to monitor this matter very closely and will work with the shelter and persons impacted to get an outcome that is beneficial to the animals concerned.