Veterinarians Guide to Animal Welfare Cases
This guide was developed in consultation with the RSPCA (WA), with the goal of
informing veterinarians about animal welfare regulation in Western Australia and, in
particular, the veterinarian’s role in the investigation of suspected offences under the
Animal Welfare Act 2002.
In addition to routine professional involvement in animal health and welfare,
veterinarians may be called to examine, treat, and provide advice about animals that
are the subject of regulatory investigations. In this regard, veterinarians may be
called as expert witnesses in criminal prosecutions of animal cruelty matters. In most
cases veterinarians may be asked to assist the prosecution or the defence in relation
to cruelty charges.
Veterinarians play a crucial role in all aspects of animal welfare, and an
understanding of the legal process involved in an animal cruelty prosecution is
critical in fulfilling this important role. This guide supports veterinarians involved in
animal welfare cases and other processes relevant to the enforcement of animal
welfare legislation in Western Australia.