Our role

The state and territory member Societies provide services to animals in need through their shelters and inspectorates. In the national office, RSPCA Australia works to influence animal welfare policy, practice and legislation across the country
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Key issues

The RSPCA advocates for the welfare of animals across a number of industries, issues and platforms. Help from our supporters is important to progress change. Working together is key.
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Priority issue
Australia is closer than it has ever…
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Support us

Whether you're an individual or a business, there are multiple ways you can support the RSPCA
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About

The RSPCA is an independent, community-based charity providing animal care and protection services across the country.
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Adopt

By choosing adoption, you’ll not only have the chance to make a friend for life, but you’ll be giving an animal a second chance and helping support the RSPCA.
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Make a difference to a pet’s life today.
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Animals impact on our health and wellbeing in many ways, some of which we are barely aware of. Pets, or companion animals, can play an important role in improving mental wellbeing through the companionship they provide. However, our close relationships with animals can also provide challenges for health, including the emotional distress faced by animal welfare workers, and the challenge of responding to outbreaks of disease that may spread from animals to humans.

Furthermore, our use of animals for the production of compounds used in human medicine, such as heart valves, hormones and antibodies, poses significant threats to animal welfare. Possible future therapies based on genetic engineering, such as xenotransplantation raise significant new challenges.

Session 1: The use of animals in medical therapy. The first session provided a historical perspective on the use of animals in medicine, and a discussion of ethics and welfare impacts of the use of animals for human health purposes, with a focus on emerging technologies including genetic manipulation.

Session 2: Companion animals and mental health. This session included a discussion of the role of animal companionship in mental wellbeing, the problem of animal hoarding, and methods for maintaining good mental health and happiness when working in the field of animal welfare.

Session 3: Public health and animal welfare. Presentations covered changing patterns of zoonotic disease and the challenge of balancing public health needs with animal welfare. The Australian pandemic influenza response plan was covered as a specific example. The impacts of intensification of farming on human health will also be discussed.

The speakers for the seminar came from a range of backgrounds including academic, medical, government, non-government organisations and industry. They brought a broad range of experience in caring for the health of individuals, studying the history of medicine, managing public health decisions, practically managing animal welfare issues, and making complex ethical assessments.

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