Com­plaints of cru­elty hit record high

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

An in­crease of an­i­mal cru­elty com­plaints in Marl­bor­ough has put al­ready over­loaded in­spec­tors un­der more pres­sure.

Con­cerns over an­i­mal cru­elty rock­eted to a record high in Marl­bor­ough last year with 15,500 com­plaints – a mas­sive 75 per cent in­crease on the year be­fore.

SPCA in­spec­tor Donna Walzl, one of three for the top of the south, said she could not re­veal spe­cific de­tails about the com­plaints, but said the cru­elty in­volved was ‘‘truly shock­ing’’.

A new in­spec­tor was ex­pected to start in the area soon to help ease the bur­den on in­spec­tors, who were all based in Nel­son.

In Novem­ber last year, the Marl­bor­ough and Nel­son cen­tres merged, and all in­spec­tors move to the Nel­son branch.

They trav­elled to Marl­bor­ough once or twice a week, Walzl said. The three in­spec­tors cov­ered Golden Bay, West­port, Buller, Nel­son, Marl­bor­ough and Kaiko¯ ura.

‘‘There are very se­ri­ous an­i­mal cru­elty com­plaints in Marl­bor­ough that in­spec­tors have seen. There is cer­tainly a lot of an­i­mal cru­elty out there.’’

Walzl said com­plaints in the re­gion, with its hunt­ing com­mu­nity, some­times in­cluded treat­ment of pig dogs.

‘‘Mak­ing Marl­bor­ough and Nel­son one re­gion gives in­spec­tors sup­port,’’ Walzl said.

SPCA chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drea Mid­gen con­firmed the rise in com­plaints had placed in­spec­tors through­out the coun­try un­der in­creased pres­sure.

‘‘See­ing a rise in the num­ber of an­i­mal wel­fare com­plaints year on year, shows we con­tinue to have sig­nif­i­cant an­i­mal cru­elty is­sues in New Zealand.’’

SPCA re­vealed its new fundraiser last month; Walk Your Dog to the Moon.

Staff hoped to re­cruit Ki­wis to walk 385,500 kilo­me­tres, the dis­tance of the Earth to the Moon, with their four-legged friends.

SPCA Marl­bor­ough will hold the event on Sun­day, Novem­ber 4 at 11am at their Ren­wick cen­tre for regis­tered walk­ers.

You can reg­is­ter for Walk Your Dog to the Moon at walk­tothe­

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