The Inspectorate is the law enforcement division of the SPCA. It operates within the regulations of the Animals Protection Act No. 71 of 1962, the Performing Animals Protection Act No. 24 of 1935 and all subsequent amendments to these acts. The division’s task is to investigate neglect of and cruelty towards animals and it has the power to bring criminal charges against offenders.
Other matters which become indirectly involved concerning the welfare of animals is in the field of religious slaughtering, treatment and slaughtering methods in abattoirs, rehabilitation, wild life and stock sales, circus, zoo’s; monitoring of animals used for exhibition or entertainment, the training and use of dogs in the security industry and in fact anyone or anything involving animals and living creatures.
Investigations routinely take place, following leads given by the public or following on from animal protection inspections, often working closely with the South African Police Services, Nature Conservation or other bodies.
The Inspector is often called out to rescue animals which would involve animals trapped on cliff faces, in painful inhumane snares; up trees , down manholes, down drain pipes or up electricity poles. In fact in many strange places – animals often seem to find themselves needing the Inspectors rescue skills.
One of the major concerns for the SPCA is the methods of transportation of animals. Every day thousands of head of livestock are transported on the roads of Kwa Zulu-Natal. Livestock transport could be a small truck with a few head of goats to a huge multi-tiered truck carrying up to 700 animals on one trailer. When an accident happens the freeway resembles a battleground with dead and injured animals strewn across the roadway and startled animals running free in the traffic.