Govt neglects animal welfare yet again in latest Budget – SPCA
The Government has once again left New Zealand’s vulnerable animals out in the cold by its decision not to increase SPCA’s much-needed funding.
Despite being the only animal welfare charity tasked with enforcing the Animal Welfare Act, SPCA receives less than 5 percent Government funding. Although the cost of operating the organisation’s Inspectorate service has increased due to demand, inflation and minimum wage increases, this funding has not been adjusted to reflect this.
SPCA Chief Executive Andrea Midgen says without more Government support the charity won’t be able to increase its services, which means there’s a huge risk that vulnerable animals won’t receive the help they require.
“Demand for our services nationwide is not reducing – in fact, it’s increasing,” says Ms Midgen. “The public expects us to be there for all animals in need, but the reality is that without more Government support, we won’t be able to increase our services.”
The little Government funding that SPCA does receive must go towards the Inspectorate, which costs $12 million a year to operate. The charity receives just $2.5 million from the Government for this service. The rest of this cost, as well as the expense of operating 33 Centres and caring for 35,000 animals each year, is funded by generous New Zealanders.
“By neglecting SPCA’s funding yet again, the Government has shown it’s not prioritising animal welfare in our communities. SPCA is mandated to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, yet the cost of doing this is expected to come out of the pockets of our supporters. The Government’s decision to continue to underfund SPCA defies logic,” says Ms Midgen.
Rising inflation, as well as multiple minimum wage increases, has also put increasing pressure on the charity.
“The cost of running SPCA and caring for the thousands of animals that come through our doors is only increasing, yet our funding has not increased. The question is, how can we be expected to continue to provide the level of services we do if we don’t have the funding to do it?”
SPCA hopes the Government will reconsider its decision and show New Zealanders that the welfare our country’s animals are a priority.