Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MPs will lobby the Palaszczuk Labor Government to commit to providing ongoing funding to independent, locally-run pet shelter and re-homing organisations in a bid to control the homeless and abandoned animal crisis.

KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said there had never been higher demand for animal re-homing services in Queensland.

In response, he said the KAP was calling for an annual funding pool of $5 million be shared across the State’s various animal shelter and re-homing groups, with funding to be awarded based on need and merit.

Mr Katter said the RSPCA, which had a total revenue of $53.8 million in 2020-21 and posted budget surpluses most years, was unable to meet the need for shelter and re-homing services across Queensland.

“There is therefore an onus on the Queensland Government, which claims a commitment to improving animal welfare outcomes, to support the organisations plugging the huge void,” he said.

“The RSPCA is a charity, a lobbyist organisation and law enforcement agency, and the fact is as a charity it is not filling the need there is for animal re-homing and care.

“It does not offer shelter services in many Queensland towns and cities, including Mount Isa and also Townsville where it closed its shelter in 2018.

“This has placed an unfair, and unsustainable, burden on local councils and animal re-homing groups, all of which do an outstanding job in the face of little to no government support.

“We want to see this change; money should be directed at local organisations like Paws, Hoofs and Claws in Mount Isa or Townsville Foster and Rehoming Animals in Townsville, to assist them in their important work.”

Mr Katter also lashed the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s proposed Animal Care and Protection Amendment Bill which, instead of properly dealing with community concerns around homeless animals and the law enforcement powers of the RSPCA, would implement blanket bans on certain animal control methods.

This includes a ban on the pronged dog collars, which are advocated as a behavioural tool by professional animal trainers, and some poisons used on feral pigs.

The Bill also paves the way for a breeding licence scheme for thoroughbred racehorses, which the Traeger MP said represented yet another politically motivated amendment that was not supported by the industry.

Mr Katter labelled the majority of the proposed amendments as pointless “feel good changes” designed to distract the public from the real issues.

“If the Palaszczuk Labor Government wants to be taken even slightly seriously on the issue of animal welfare – which it appears, it does – then they will plug the funding shortfalls immediately and help out these local, independent groups who are doing a lot of the heavy lifting on the issue of abandoned and homeless animals,” he said.


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