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  4. RSPCA Policy A01 Responsible companion animal ownership

RSPCA Policy A01 Responsible companion animal ownership

1.1Companion animal (pet) owners are accountable and liable for the ongoing care, actions and welfare of any animal under their custody, ownership, management or control.

Responsible ownership involves the following general principles:

  • planning for an animal suitable to the owner’s lifestyle and budget and capacity to properly care for and manage the chosen animal throughout its life.
  • understanding and meeting the physiological, behavioural and social needs of the chosen animal
  • undertaking appropriate husbandry practices relating to the feeding, exercising, grooming, housing, containment and care of the animal
  • following a preventative health care program
  • ensuring veterinary care is provided when necessary
  • preventing unwanted/unplanned pregnancies through desexing* or other safe suitable methods**
  • ensuring appropriate and reliable identification of the animal, and
  • training and socialisation of the animal to ensure the development of appropriate behaviour.

* Desexing refers to surgical desexing
** Such as physical separation of males and females

NOTE: A companion animal is an animal that provides companionship to humans (also known as a pet). This section applies to the range of species commonly kept as companion animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, rats, mice and fish, among other species. Horses are not covered in this section they are covered by Section C.

(reviewed 26/06/14)

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Updated on January 12, 2021

RSPCA policies reflect the best available evidence to direct and guide RSPCA and others, to promote and achieve good animal welfare outcomes.

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