Baldivis MLA hits back at animal cruelty title

Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby with Jimmy at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk event.
Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby with Jimmy at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk event.

BALDIVIS MLA Reece Whitby has hit back at claims Baldivis is Perth’s worst suburb for animal cruelty.

Yesterday, the RSPCA announced Baldivis had 85 animal cruelty reports in 2018, which was the worst in WA.

Baldivis named worst for cruelty

But Mr Whitby believes Baldivis should be known as the dog lovers’ capital of Perth.

“We have one of the biggest population of dogs and cats in Perth,” he said.

“These suburb comparisons are unfair because they fail to take into account the large population of Baldivis.

“Some perspective is needed in looking at these figures.

“Baldivis is one of the biggest suburbs in Perth – we’re four or five times bigger than the average Perth suburb population wise.

“So naturally, any comparison between our suburb and others will be skewed and unfair.”

Mr Whitby said the numbers were also unfair because so many Baldivis residents own pets, particularly dogs.

“Whenever I go door knocking I inevitably hear a bark at the door if the resident isn’t home,” he said.

“Our streets and parks are always full of people out walking and playing with their dogs.

“As a suburb we also pay a fortune keeping local vets and pet shops in business.”

Mr Whitby said he admired the RSPCA.

“I think it’s positive to highlight the issue of cruelty against animals, however, to name and shame a suburb because it has a big population is unfair,” he said.

“Baldivis people would be the first to condemn animal cruelty and anyone who mistreats an animal should have the book thrown at them.

“But let’s have a fair comparison and not a flawed league table.”