RSPCA Victoria has launched an investigation after footage of what looked to be a man kicking a dog at Monday’s violent protests in Melbourne surfaced online.
The video, which was captured by 7News Melbourne at the protest outside the Construction Union (CMFEU) offices in Melbourne, has resulted in multiple reports of alleged animal cruelty to the RSPCA.
In the video, the man is seen to be charging towards the dog’s owner outside the CMFEU offices on Elizabeth Street. As the owner appears to back away from the man, the dog is still on its leash, standing between the two people. The man then allegedly kicks the dog, which causes other people to step in, and a fight breaks out between the man and an intervenor.
RSPCA VIC is aware of social media reports of an incident that allegedly occurred at a CFMEU protest earlier today where an unidentified male allegedly appeared to kick a dog. If anyone witnessed this or has any relevant info please submit a report at https://t.co/oNbKz0jzkg
— RSPCA Victoria (@rspca_vic) September 20, 2021
The Victorian sector of the not for profit organisation confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that it has begun a full, high priority investigation into the matter, and is determined to hold the unknown man to account for his alleged actions if a case of animal cruelty is made out.
“Animal cruelty is never acceptable under any circumstances and RSPCA Victoria considers all cases of animal cruelty high priority,” RSPCA Victoria Chief Inspector Michael Stagg said in a statement.
“It was disturbing to see the footage which appeared to show intentional cruelty inflicted on a defenceless animal. I assure the Victorian community that RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate is investigating this alleged case of cruelty with the intention of holding the perpetrator accountable to the full extent of the law.”
Chief Inspector Stagg said that there is no excuse for any animal to be subjected to abuse under any circumstance, and the organisation wants to send a “strong message” that it will continue to hold people to account for animal cruelty.
Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, it is illegal to abuse, beat, worry, torment, or terrify an animal, and anyone found guilty of these offences could be slapped with a maximum fine of $45,435, or 12 months behind bars.