Anticorruptionnz's Blog

25/04/2010

Animal Welfare Prosecutions – all $$$ no accountability

There are moves afoot to Privatise Dog and stock control which has been the role of  councils.

Auckland city already  contracts dog control  out to animal control services and many dog owners  have experienced the diligence  with which this private enterprise enforces the  legislation.. there Is no secret in this as to   why.. it is because it is lucrative.

Imagine then  if  this service is extended to  give the dog control officer  powers  such as  the SPCA inspectors have, the dog control officer is suddenly not limited

  • To Dogs
  • Public places
  • Offences relating to   dog control

The extension of their powers would mean that

  • There is enforcement of strict liability offences.. You own the cat they claim it is suffering.. Therefore you are guilty.
    • Yes   you can try to defend it  but the  $150  fine will need to be weighed up against the $350 per hour which you’re your lawyer will cost you .
  • Any prosecution undertaken  will result in the  fines  returned to  the complaint  “approved organisation  “Section 171 Animal welfare act- this has to be easier than competing with other charities.

So who are the approved Organisations.

The RNZSPCA by virtue of section  189   is an approved organisation , under its umbrella  come the various branches of the RNZSPCA and the  various SPCA societies which are members.

When an  SPCA member society  or RNZSPCA Branch  recommends a person to the  RNZSPCA be appointed as an Inspector  and that person is appointed  then that  member society  or  branch also becomes an approved Organisation   section 190 .

There is one other approved organisation   this  is  the animal welfare institute of New Zealand  (AWINZ)  It resulted  from a Pilot programme  which a previous RNZSPCA director set up  in Waitakere city,  AWINZ   unlike the RNZSPCA  societies and trusts  is not a legal  person  and is nothing but a trading name to facilitate a concept  which    was documented in 1996  territorial animal welfare authority , effectively  it is a fiction to  which the central and local government have contracted without  checking to see if  it did exist.

At that time of writing the above document  Mr Wells   was located  at No 1 Rankin avenue, the same building as the RNZSPCA.

Mr Coutts   a recruitment manager was also in the same building , he was later to become a “trustee” of AWINZ    and when the RNZSPCA shifted  he also relocated   and  remains today in adjoining offices in Great north road

AWINZ “ contracted” to  Waitakere city  through the manager of animal welfare   Tom Didovich , who  collected  and witnessed the signatures on the trust deed  for AWINZ

Mr Didovich is now national education and branch support manager for the RNZSPCA .

Only one other  organisation  has  ever applied to become an “ approved “ organisation   this was the INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR THE PROTECTION OF HORSES (NEW ZEALAND) INCORPORATED . It applied  to become an approved organisation through MAF and failed     but  has over come the issue  by  changing its name to SPCA AUCKLAND HORSE WELFARE AUXILIARY INCORPORATED    , it is now  under the umbrella of the RNZSPCA    and has   an inspector making it an approved organisation by virtue of section 190  of the act.

And so it appears that  there will be  limitless  possibilities  for   non existent organisations  “ such as AWINZ”   and  for  any organisation   who will change its name and ( possibly for a fee or return on earnings ) to come under the umbrella  of the RNZSPCA   and start enforcing animal welfare.

I suspect that It will not be the serious  stuff which will be enforced , but they will  approach the broken windows  concept  with the pretence that   making people aware of the rights of animals .. its been done before.. speed cameras traffic wardens , swimming pool charges.

It is already happening over seas  http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/Pensioner-banned-from-keeping-pets.6187161.jp

It will  not about  helping animals  it will be about $$$$$$

But worst of all   there is no accountability for animal welfare Inspectors, there is no register , they are not accountable to a tribunal  and there is no  clear cut   complaints  procedure which holds them accountable.

So the scenario will be  that the more they  bring in by way of prosecution  the more the society they represent will earn, the higher their wages will be..

Mr Wells    promoted the AWINZ concept using a  flyer http://www.verisure.co.nz/profit%20in%20animals.pdf there is profit in animals… He wrote the animal welfare act  , to facilitate this concept  he was  independent legal adviser to the select committee  and  adviser to MAF  during the time the  legislation was being considered.

To privatise Dog and stock control  without reviewing the animal welfare act would be extremely dangerous.

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3 Comments

  1. People, legislators and authorities in New Zealand – Do not allow your Dog and Stock control duties to be privatised or delagated to commercial bodies, by law, right or sub contract.

    You will open the floodgate to an industry that will seek to make and extend it’s abilty to profit by cutting corners.
    You will then have inadequately trained and incompetent personel carrying out duties that affect public life and animal welfare because the companies that employ them do not wish to invest in proper training facilities or programs.
    You will have private companies who will constantly seek to increase their profits by charging councils more for public services.
    You will have such people and companies seeking greater powers to increase their opprotunities for profit by taking on a larger proportion of enfocement.

    Your councils and taxpayers will find they are being ripped off but will not be in a position to do anything about it without expending large sums fighting their way out of contracts and setting up in house facilities again.

    This is what has happened in the UK, where many councils took up the option to privatise dog warden services. Many of those that did are regretting it. Even in the case of statutory fines collected on their behalf, many councils are paying 10 time the amount in charges levied by companies imposing these fines than they are raising in income from the fines.
    Some are fighting cases of incompetence or claims for damages where animals have been siezed or adversly treated in error by poorly trained employees of private contractors.

    Don’t let it happen to you.
    There really is no place for ‘profit’ in enforecement of legislation. This is a matter for government controlled authorities.

    It goes contrary to logic that anyone can believe that by putting a third party in a chain or infrastructure, and with that third party taking its profit from the system, this will be more economic and efficient than keeping that system in house.

    You cannot get more for less without cutting corners and that is what will happen.

    If your sums tell you that sub contracting duities to someone else makes it cheaper and more efficient to do a job than doing it yourself, in house and with your own staff, then it reflects badly on you as organisers and management and frankly suggests you should stand down and allow someone more competent to do your job.
    It suggests that your own infrastructure needs a good overhaul to make it more efficient and cost effective.

    Comment by Mike Cooke — 25/04/2010 @ 9:31 am

  2. Thank You Mike It has been our experience that there is never a cost benifit analysis ,this privatisation move began 15 years ago it has been carefully planned , ironically we are going to get a public discussion paper on it next year so that the appearance of democracy can be upheld.

    Grace

    Comment by anticorruptionnz — 25/04/2010 @ 11:05 am

  3. […] Animal Welfare Prosecutions – all $$$ no accountability […]

    Pingback by Spca Ontario Today , NZ tomorrow? « Anticorruptionnz's Blog — 30/09/2010 @ 5:23 pm


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