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RSPCA Policy C07 Training behaviour modification and invasive procedures

7.1Training
7.1.1Training methods for animals used in sport, entertainment, performance, recreation or work must be humane and must not cause injury, pain, suffering or distress to the animal.
7.1.2Training methods should be based on techniques using natural instincts and positive reinforcement. Aversion therapy and physical punishment must not be used because of the potential for cruelty.
7.2Devices to modify behaviour or performance
7.2.1Any device or equipment used to modify the behaviour of animals in sport, entertainment, performance, recreation and work or associated training must be humane and must not cause injury, pain, suffering or distress to the animal.
7.2.2

Electric shock devices

RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of any devices which deliver electric shocks for the purpose of modifying an animal’s behaviour or performance. Such devices are inhumane as they inflict pain, involve punishment and can be used to abuse animals.

7.2.3

Devices to prevent stereotypic behaviours

RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of devices or equipment designed to prevent stereotypic behaviours in horses (such as wind sucking and crib biting). Management of stereotypies should aim to address the underlying cause of the behaviour rather than the symptoms.

See also RSPCA Policy A7.4 and A7.5

7.3

Performance enhancing drugs and procedures

RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of drugs and/or surgical procedures which are administered with a view to enhance the performance of an animal, mask pain or enable an injured animal to compete.

7.4

Invasive husbandry procedures

RSPCA Australia is opposed to any invasive or surgical husbandry procedure carried out on an animal for cosmetic or non-therapeutic purposes.

7.4.1Where invasive animal husbandry procedures are used to overcome the effects of selective breeding (which produces physical and/or behavioural changes detrimental to the animals’ health or welfare), breeding practices should be changed to prevent this.
7.4.2Where invasive animal husbandry procedures are used to overcome the effects of selective breeding (which produces physical and/or behavioural changes detrimental to the animals’ health or welfare), breeding practices should be changed to prevent this.
7.4.3

If an invasive procedure is to be performed, it must be performed by a veterinarian and be accompanied by appropriate analgesia and anaesthesia.

See also RSPCA Policy A6.5

7.4.4

Caslick's procedure

RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of Caslick’s procedure in horses and encourages the use of responsible breeding practices to address vulval conformation problems.

7.4.5

Firing

RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of firing to treat tendon injuries in horses as this procedure is associated with considerable pain and tissue damage.

Note: Caslick’s procedure (caslicking) is the surgical closing of the upper part of a mare’s vulva to avoid problems associated with vulval conformation.

Note: Firing is a procedure used to treat tendon injuries in horses where a hot iron is used to burn lines around the lower limb (bar firing) or to penetrate the tendon (pin firing).

(adopted 30/3/2016)

Updated on January 15, 2019
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https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/rspca-policy-c07-training-behaviour-modification-and-invasive-procedures/

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