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RSPCA Policy C01 Animals in sport, entertainment, performance, recreation and work - general principles

Article ID: 638
Last updated: 30 Mar, 2016
Revision: 8
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 1.1 RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of animals for any form of sport, entertainment performance, recreation, work, or training associated with such use, where injury, pain, suffering or distress is likely to be caused.
 1.2 Those in charge of the care and management of animals used for such purposes must be aware of their responsibilities and legal obligations to ensure the welfare of the animals in their care at all times and must act accordingly.


Responsible care and management of animals used in sport, entertainment, performance, recreation or work ensures such animals have a good quality of life and involves the following:

  • applying responsible and humane animal acquisition and breeding practices to avoid oversupply and wastage.
  • understanding and meeting the physiological, behavioural and social needs of the animal.
  • providing housing and transport facilities that are designed and maintained to provide a clean, comfortable and safe environment (see RSPCA Policy F1).
  • applying appropriate animal care and husbandry practices, including handling socialisation and environmental enrichment, that meet the animal’s needs.
  • following a preventative health care program with appropriate record keeping.
  • ensuring veterinary care is provided when necessary.
  • ensuring training methods are humane (see RSPCA Policy C2).
  • ensuring animals are appropriately and reliably identified.
  • retirement planning that meets ethical and welfare considerations.

Note: Wastage refers to animals bred for a specific purpose that are discarded by the industry or owner of the animal and often subsequently killed.

1.4 RSPCA Australia recognises that good animal handling skills, i.e. the knowledge, skill, attitude and behaviour necessary to handle and train animals in a manner that does not compromise their welfare, is essential for the well-being of animals (see RSPCA Policy C7).


RSPCA Australia advocates the adoption of compulsory and enforced animal welfare standards and a registration and licensing system wherever animals are bred or used for sport, entertainment, performance, recreation or work.

See also RSPCA Policy H2 Standards, codes of practice and guidelines

(adopted 30/3/2016)

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