Australian Legal System, bloody_minded

RSPCA with the Law & Us


Very good advice to remember:

The Law and the RSPCA
By Dr.Barry Peachey LLB(Hons), LLM, PhD, FCollP, MBAE, ACIArb, FETC

THIS ARTICLE is written in my joint capacities as Legal Adviser to a number of dog organisations, and Chairman of the Legal Aid Working Party of the British Academy of Experts.
I had been approached by a number of dog people, and by fellow professional members of the Academy, and asked to clear up a number of misconceptions about the RSPCA and the law that appear to be widely held and indeed publicly fostered by the Society itself.


    • The RSPCA is a charity.



    • The Inspectorate is NOT a public law enforcement body.



    • Society Inspectors have NO special legal powers whatsoever.



    • They have NO special powers to arrest offenders.



    • They have NO right to enter your home to inspect your animals or to demand that you answer any of their questions.



    • They have NO right of access to shows, fairs and markets other than as members of the public, and can only carry out any law enforcement function as an assistant to a police-officer, upon that officer’s request.



    • They have NO power to stop, obstruct or otherwise detain any vehicle carrying animals.



    • Whilst the Society’s staff issue criminal proceedings against offenders, they do so by way of private prosecution.



    • Members of the Inspectorate wear uniforms which make them as much like police officers as the law will allow. They are not. The LOWEST “rank” in the Inspectorate is Inspector (apart from Trainee Inspectors). Above that they have “Chief Inspectors”, “Superintendent”, ’ and “Chief Superintendents”. None of these ranks are officers of the Crown, and have no legal significance whatsoever. They are designed to impress the public.


Members of the Inspectorate in senior positions have on various occasions stated in public that they have a cavalier disregard for the law, and the protections that it affords to suspects. On September 3, 1992, Chief Inspector John Paul gave evidence at Richmond-on-Thames Magistrates’ Court in the case of David MacKay. During cross examination, defense barrister Mr Thomas Derbyshire asked the RSPCA man: “Are you telling this court that you encourage your staff to flagrantly disregard civil and legal rights in the pursuit of your ends?” Chief Inspector Paul replied: “My duty is to look after the animals, and if that involves infringing people’s civil or legal rights then so be it. The animals cannot defend themselves so we have to do it for them.”

It is a matter of public record that in this case the RSPCA had illegally entered property, and illegally seized animals The recent RSPCA television series Animal Squad – Undercoverwhich appeared on , Channel 4 featured Chief Superintendent Donald Balfour, Head of the RSPCA Special Operations Unit. He was asked on camera by a police officer if he had any legal powers to do what he was proposing to do. His reply was “Officially no, but we do it all the time.”

In the recent press release in which the Society announced that they would be withdrawing their staff from prosecutions under Sl Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, they described the five men concerned as “qualified as expert witnesses”. They are nothing of the sort, and this is yet another wilful misrepresentation of their legal position. The qualifying body for expert witnesses in this country is the British Academy of Experts. Only holders of full professional membership, or fellowship in the practicing category of membership are “qualified” as expert witnesses. The law is that any expert may give expert evidence if they can satisfy the court as to their expertise, but there is a vast difference between that and Academy membership. None of the RSPCA Inspectors authorised by the Society are Academy Members or Fellows, not the least because the academy requires candidates to be educated to at least first degree level, to have chartered or equivalent status in their primary profession, and to be able to pass an extensive and demanding vetting procedure, covering professional conduct and competence.

At present only three of the experts who have regularly appeared in Dangerous Dogs Act cases are on the professional register of the Academy All of them are Panel Members of theA.G.Fox litigation consultancy practice.

The RSPCA has sought to present the withdrawal of its staff from these cases as an effort to protect innocent dogs. That is an exercise in hypocrisy that is unsurpassed. The truth is that it has been driven off the field by a whole series of crushing defeats in the courts that have made the staff concerned look amateurish in the face of true experts, in an exercise that in my view has brought the Society into gross disrepute.
The above article was printed in Our Dogs magazine May 21st. 1993 and still holds true today.

1990s – Building programs were carried out around Queensland. Because of this growth, Animal Care Centres now exist at Cairns, Townsville, Bundaberg, Kingaroy, Noosa, Dakabin and the Gold Coast, besides the main Animal Care Campus in Brisbane. There are also a number of regional “Friends” groups raising funds and assisting in other ways.

1994 – The Annual Million Paws Walk, inaugurated in Brisbane in 1994, was so successful it went national in 1996. As the operations of the Society grew throughout the twentieth century, it became necessary for more innovative fundraising – hence the Million Paws Walk event, and other activities.

2001 – The Animal Care and Protection Act was passed, strengthening the laws against cruelty to animals and substantially increasing the penalties for mistreating animals.

2002 – The State Government committed $2.5 million dollar-for-dollar funding towards substantial capital works in upgrading refuges throughout Queensland.

2002 – An extensive program of education, particularly in schools, is now in operation. The Society works closely with the Australian Veterinary Association’s program for children, PetPEP. In 2002, the Society’s new mobile classroom, known as the EMU (Education Mobile Unit), is launched.

2002/3 – The Fairfield Centre took in a total of 19,645 animals, consisting of 6,996 dogs, 8,750 cats, 10 horses, 605 livestock, 2,227 wildlife, 610 other small pets, and 447 birds. The total intake for all the Queensland Animal Care Centres for 2002/3 was 33,984 animals.

2006- In December 2006, RSPCA Qld welcomed a pledge of a $12 million lead gift from the Queensland Government towards the construction of the RSPCA Qld Animal Care Campus, originally marked for Redbank, since changed to Wacol. In an Australian first, this purpose-built facility will combine state-of-the-art shelter care with onsite headquarters for an expanded, statewide Humane Education Program.

the were first started in UK so the same rules apply
they have no authority to come on your land unless invited, otherwise can be sued for Tresspass (my understanding)

Aging Gracefully, Empethy, enviroment

This and that with more Tricks


Visited the Village of Dingo east of Blackwater Qld 4717. I live some where between the two, cannot call it a town as we no longer sport a Post Office. My eldest and I came here by train from Rosewood, South East Qld. To Rockhampton city Q 4700 via a rickety train April 1968. 16 months old he was.

This was a Xmas party for Senior Citizens living this end of Central Higlands Shire. Main center is Emerald, Qld post code 4720. Well, The stairs led to the Toilets, 2 to be exact, locks that did not latch & my outstretched foot did not quiet reach the door.

I wanted a ” pee” more than I wanted my privacy, one can be arrested for urinating just anywhere. Rickety rail at the lower end of decending stairs.

At 70 years my modesty is overruled by necissity of ones bodily functions. ..

I recall 20 year ago @ Agricultural Show in Rockhampton before I used incontinence pads, a pretencious male official said, you cant go in there, they are for Official party only!

City_Planning, Coal_seam_Gas

Unemployment Predictions

Quote/  Australia’s five tidal waves of unemployment

Robert Gottliebsen

No peace-time Prime Minister in Australia’s history has faced the challenge now facing Tony Abbott.

I do not think the Australian nation, treasury or the cabinet understands the magnitude of what is going to happen. The share and currency markets are just starting to get a whiff of what is ahead.

Until now, Australia has seen developments in China and the US as the key to our future, and while that remains partly true, we are about to undergo a domestic upheaval of unprecedented proportions.

Four enormous tidal waves are coming towards us not so much in calendar 2014 but in 2015 and especially in 2016 (the election year).

The biggest wave is the decline in the mining investment boom. Leaving aside maintenance and normal capital expenditure mining investment rose from around 2 to 3 per cent of GDP to around 7 per cent. It looks like falling back to its traditional levels as the election approaches. We are looking at 70 per cent size reductions in a countless number of contractors. Many will disappear. Remember this will not be apparent in the 2014 economic figures because there is still a lot of mining investment work to do.

At the same time as the mining investment collapse – 2015 and 2016 – we are going to see a second wave. Higher gas and power costs. The price of gas will double in eastern states – if it is available. Because the raw material is only part of the cost in the retail sector, the rise to consumers will be much less. But in industry, where the gas raw material is a bigger slice of the cost, the effect will be to shut many plants.

And it looks like there are more power price rises in the pipeline.

The abolition of the carbon tax, assuming it can get through the Senate, will help and is a clear positive and sensible reaction to these energy developments in our second tidal wave.

But given the total magnitude of what is taking place, carbon tax abolition will not have the stimulus that would have normally followed.

Our third tidal wave is the rise in retail shift allowances and penalty rates, which will slash employment in our second largest employment industry (Australia faces a humiliating retail calamity, November 12).

Our fourth wave is the proposed public service reductions.

These are enormous developments in any economy, and they will all happen in the same two years. Abbott has developed two clear plans to respond to them.

The first plan is to boost infrastructure and lower government regulation – both of which will boost employment and are good moves.

But the second plan has no precedent in any country facing the power of these four tidal waves.

Festering within the Coalition for decades is the deep belief that the motor industry should be shut, given that the only way in can be competitive when the Australian dollar is above 80 to 85 US cents is government subsidies.

That was certainly a correct policy as we headed into the mining investment boom. And once we have adjusted the economy for the end of the mining investment boom and the four other tidal waves it also represents correct policy.

But in 2013 it becomes a fifth tidal wave equal in power to both mining investment and retail. And the motor industry tidal wave hits Australia at the same time as the other four.

But we have a majority in cabinet that believe, with a passion, that 2016 is just the time to hit the economy, that Australia needs to be taught a lesson and the labour force requires a good cleansing. So as a deliberate policy they are determined to abandon the previous government’s deal to save the motor industry at least until 2022.

So in 2015 and 2016 we will see at least 350,000 jobs lost in mining investment, motor, retail and the public service. My guess it that job losses will go close to 500,000.

In fairness, there is no doubt that the minister for industry, Ian Macfarlane, fully understands the implications of the five tidal waves and is working feverishly to stop cabinet’s motor carnage coming at the same time as the other blows (Macfarlane’s plan to save the car industry, November 28).

But clearly the more cavalier cabinet members can see the chance to shut down the industry and do not care about the timing or any other consequences.

Because most of the myriad of companies involved in the motor industry will not be able to pay retrenchment, the decision to shut down motor will cost the government more than $1 billion. Then add that to that the economic costs of the other four tidal waves.

I think Tony Abbott could have been a really great Australian prime minister but Australia has never before seen a prime minister act this way towards employment. It is good to see Bill Shorten will mix with world leaders at the Nelson Mandela memorial service.

Read more:


What Aspinall Said And Did Not Say (Or: Splitting Hairs For Fun And Profit)

Who understands Churches of today?


Image: Anglican Church Archbishop Aspinall (left) at the consecration of Queensland’s first, and Australia’s fourth, female Bishop, Alison Taylor (right), last year.

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall gets a little confused at times. This week he gave evidence to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, in a hearing focused on Allan Kitchingman (see previous posting) and the North Coast Children’s Home (see previous postings) run by the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England).

Aspinall and his church announced last week, on the eve of the present hearings, that he had appointed the first, and only, female bishop, Sarah Macneil, to replace disgraced ex-bishop, Keith Slater. She will be consecrated later in the year as bishop of the Grafton diocese. Coincidentally, this is the very diocese that was being investigated by the Royal Commission.

Also, coincidentally, since the announcement came on…

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