Zeus looks out his car window. FILE PHOTO (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Zeus looks out his car window. FILE PHOTO (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Gympie animal cruelty case numbers during COVID-19 revealed

ALMOST 150 cases of animal cruelty have been reported in the Gympie Regional Council area since the start of the year.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty revealed 149 cruelty complaints had been received from January 1 up until Thursday.

READ MORE: Animal cruelty complaints required backup during COVID-19

The Gympie data comes at the same time the number of cruelty complaints on the Sunshine Coast for the period of February 1 to June 1 was released, with 335 this year compared with 324 last year.

Michael Beatty at the RSPCA in Wacol with Zeus the Staffy. (AAP image, John Gass)
Michael Beatty at the RSPCA in Wacol with Zeus the Staffy. (AAP image, John Gass)

No such comparison has yet been provided for the Gympie data.

Mr Beatty said the Sunshine Coast increase was “surprising”.

“People have been at home more, so you wouldn’t think this would have happened,” he said.

“In some cases, the cruelty complaints have been related to domestic violence towards the animals.

“The DV cases have definitely increased with the lockdown.”

Mr Beatty said a second inspector for the Sunshine Coast and broader area, including Gympie and up to Maryborough, had been hired six months ago due to the increasing workload.

“There are a number of different issues that our inspectors have to look into – general neglect, failure to take animal to vet etc – and it’s definitely getting busier up there,” he said.

The RSPCA urges community members to call the 1300 ANIMAL number if they notice any animals being treated cruelly or neglected.

Gympie Times


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