Here are some links that may be of assistance if you find a horse, donkey, mule or other animal that is suffering neglect, or that has been treated cruelly. There are slightly different procedures for each state and territory, so please see the links relevant to your location below.
In addition, we will add informative articles by equine welfare organisations, providing the benefit of their experiences. (Please note, some of the information in these articles may be specific to the state where the organisation is located.)
- Project Hope Horse Welfare Victoria Inc “Suspected Equine Neglect” (PDF file) (Victoria)
- Quest Equine Welfare Inc, “Making a Report” (Quest are located in Vic)
- Australian Federal Government Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare page and State and Territory Government Animal Welfare Links and Legislation.
- NARGA (National Animal Rescue Groups of Australia Inc) have pages on “Nationally Recognised Codes Standards and Guidelines”, and individual pages for legislation from each state and territory: Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
- Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Land Transport of Horses (PDF)
To report cruelty visit this link to contact RSPCA SA. Information on how RSPCA SA inspectors investigate cases and the action they can take is also available on the Inspectorate page of their website.
New South Wales
In NSW there are three enforcement agencies that deal with cruelty complaints. They are RSPCA NSW, Animal Welfare League of NSW and the NSW Police. Read more at “Complaints regarding general animal welfare and cruelty” on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website.
- RSPCA NSW ~ Report a cruelty case at this link, or find out more about the inspectors and the work they do here
- AWL NSW ~ Report Cruelty at this link
- NSW Police Force ~ Rural Crime (Scroll down for “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”)
Australian Capital Territory
More information on Animal Welfare is available on the ACT Government, Territory and Municipal Services website ~ Animal Welfare.
In Queensland there are three agencies that deal with animal welfare, please visit this Qld Government website for more details. According to the details at the previous link, RSPCA Qld handles complaints regarding hobby farms and companion animals. Details on how to report animal cruelty to RSPCA Qld are listed at this page on their website.
Complaints regarding animals in areas outside of the major centres where RSPCA are located, and also regarding livestock in commercial enterprises are handled by Biosecurity Queensland (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries). Contact details at this link.
Qld Police are the third agency, to be contacted in urgent situations where the above two agencies could not be contacted.
In Victoria you can report animal cruelty to RSPCA Victoria, see the “Report animal cruelty” page on their website for information and contact details.
RSPCA Tasmania handle cruelty reports, you can report a cruelty case at this page on their website. See the “Inspectorate” page for more information. On their site they advise that if the matter is an emergency, the local police should be contacted immediately.
The Tasmanian DPIPWE’s Animal Health and Welfare Branch provide details on the “Animal Welfare” page of the Biosecurity Tasmania website. This includes a detailed fact sheet on “Reporting animal cruelty or neglect” (PDF) which includes contact details for the Animal Health and Welfare Branch.
Complaints are through the NT Government’s Animal Welfare Unit (Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries). Please read “Make a complaint” on their website for further information. Contact details for Animal Welfare Unit.
RSPCA Darwin is not involved in the policing of cruelty complaints, they provide contact details for the Animal Welfare Unit on their website.
- Prevention – Resource page on this site that includes discussion of the benefits of early intervention, whether that be by offers of assistance or reporting to authorities.