Complaints about enforcement

Who can investigate general animal cruelty?

The enforcement agencies of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (the Act) can investigate cruelty to an animal. The enforcement agencies are:

The Department of Primary Industries does not have powers of enforcement under the Act.

I want to complain about one of the enforcement agencies

The aim of the enforcement agencies is to ensure that cruelty to animals is prevented and the welfare of animals is promoted. While carrying out these duties, enforcement officers are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner while meeting the objectives of the Act in a way which is an appropriate exercise of their powers.

In most cases, complaints can be resolved by raising them with the Inspector directly. By simply and clearly explaining why you are complaining and giving the Inspector a chance to respond, you may be able to resolve the issue. If this is unsuccessful, you should escalate your complaint.

I talked to the Inspector, but I still want to complain

NSW Police officers

If you would like to complain about a NSW Police officer involved in an animal cruelty matter; please contact the NSW Police Customer Assistance Unit on 1800 622 571, or visit your local police station.  Further information about making a complaint is also available from the NSW Police website.

RSPCA Inspectors

If you would like to complain about an RSPCA Inspector involved in an animal cruelty matter, please contact the Chief Inspector of the RSPCA NSW in writing at inspectors@rspcansw.org.au or at PO Box 34, Yagoona NSW 2199.

In all complaints to the Chief Inspector, you should include:

  • Your name, address and contact details;
  • A simple and clear description of your problem with the Inspector;
  • The name (if known) of the Inspector;
  • A realistic explanation of what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint; and
  • Any other relevant information.

The Chief Inspector will endeavour to respond to your complaint within 28 days.

Animal Welfare League Inspectors

If you would like to complain about an Animal Welfare League Inspector involved in an animal cruelty matter, please contact the Chief Inspector of the Animal Welfare League NSW in writing at inspectors@awlnsw.com.au, or at PO Box 308, Kemps Creek NSW 2178.

In all complaints to the Chief Inspector, you should include:

  • Your name, address and contact details;
  • A simple and clear description of your problem with the Inspector;
  • The name (if known) of the Inspector;
  • A realistic explanation of what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint; and
  • Any other relevant information.

The Chief Inspector will endeavour to respond to your complaint within 28 days.

Approved charitable organisations

Please note that as ‘approved charitable organisations’ under the Act, the RSPCA NSW and the Animal Welfare League NSW must provide the Minister for Primary Industries with details of any complaints received by the organisation in relation to its activities under the Act, including details as to the resolution of those complaints and any disciplinary action taken against any person as a result of those complaints. This report must be provided on an annual basis.

Please note that complaints about matters which are or have been prosecuted may not receive a response if the nature of the complaint has or will be raised during the court process.