RSPCA Australia believes that animals must be treated humanely. Where humans make use of animals or interfere with their habitat, they should bestow a level of care befitting human dignity as rational, intelligent, compassionate beings, and a level of care merited by the nature of the animal as a sentient creature capable of responding to human care and attention. Such care should be marked by sympathy, consideration, compassion and tenderness towards animals.
RSPCA Australia believes that national and international adoption of set minimum standards of treatment and husbandry, and the observance of the following points, will enable all species of animals to live according to their behavioural needs as provided by a compassionate and responsible community:
- Animals have an intrinsic value of their own and, accordingly, must be considered to possess the right to live in a way which enables them to have a positive life and to develop and enjoy their inherent qualities.
- No animal should be used for the production of food or fibre, either by farming practice, transportation, or method of slaughter which in any way may cause suffering, injury or distress.
- No animal should be used for sport or the entertainment of humans when such use may increase the risk of injury, suffering or distress to the animals, or is contrary to its nature.
- Animals should not be used in direct combat, either one against the other or in warfare.
- Animals should not be used in experiments which inflict pain or suffering upon them and which are not essential for the benefit of humans or animals. The use of animals should be replaced by reliable alternative techniques immediately they become available.
- No animal should be used in excessive breeding programs or programs which produce deformed or weak offspring.
- Domestic animals must be effectively protected from adverse weather conditions, predators and disease.
- Domestic animals must be kept in such a way which will enable them to socialise, move freely, stretch, lie down, and have access to clean water, a suitable balanced food supply, and to prophylactic and corrective medicines.
- Native animals and birds should be maintained safely in their natural environment and should be free from hunting, trapping and captivity. Culling may occur, but only when proven necessary for the preservation and benefit of the species. Culling must only be carried out under proper supervision and control.
- Any animal suffering from disease, injury, or debilitation, must be given first aid or appropriate veterinary attention quickly. If the affliction cannot be cured, or if it involves permanent and serious disability, the animal must be humanely destroyed.
- The State shall enact and enforce laws, regulations and codes for protecting animals from exploitation, and for ensuring that their basic individual needs are maintained at all times and that their environment is kept free from illegal or irresponsible intrusion.
- The State shall also develop and implement suitable educational programs or ensure that human responsibility and their duty of care towards animals is taught in all schools and in the wider community.
Humans have an obligation to protect the interests of animals at all times. They should be encouraged to willingly accept this obligation. But, if they do not do so, then the force of the law should be used to ensure that all animals are treated humanely.