The Maitland Mercury
By SAM NORRIS
- KILL RATES: RSPCA euthanasia rates at its pounds have come under fire.
The Society of Companion Animal Rescuers has backed calls for a televised debate about “kill rates” at RSPCA and council run pounds.
SoCares vice-president and Lower Hunter resident David Atwell said the RSPCA’s euthanasia rates for animals were too high.
“We want to know why there is discrepancy with what they can achieve and what we can in co-operation with the pounds,” he said.
“We would like to see this brought into an open, public discussion.”
State government figures show about half of all cats and dogs taken into the pounds statewide are destroyed each year when they can’t be placed in new homes.
Mr Atwell said by working with Muswellbrook and Wyong pounds SoCares had reduced their kill rates to 12 per cent for cats and dogs compared to 21 per cent at Cessnock.
Mr Atwell said the rate used to be better when the pound was at Kurri Kurri where SoCares had access.
“We don’t have access to Cessnock or Maitland since the services were contracted to RSPCA,” he said.
“Crowding can happen in the peak periods but the rescue groups try to accommodate for that by putting dogs out in foster care.”
Animal rights lawyer Anna Greenaway recently provided information to SBS program Insight for an episode aired last week which highlighted kill rates occurring in council pounds and shelters around Australia.
The lawyer hoped the show would make the public more aware of the large numbers of companion animals being killed each year.
“I think the RSPCA also needs to be more transparent with the rescue groups they work with and I would like to know how many animals they released to rescue groups last year,” she said.
RSPCA chief executive officer Steve Coleman defended its kill rates on Insight.
“Because of our open door policy, we take in animals that are sick, injured, abused, neglected and unwanted,” he said.
He said a number of these animals were deemed dangerous or it would be downright cruel for them to be kept alive.
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