Recently I ran a piece about some disturbing observations I made while volunteering at the wildlife sanctuary at Ettamogah.
Since then I have been contacted by a local journalist seeking my input.
Obviously I stand behind my observations as far as untoward practices at the sanctuary, and in the interests of having the matter made public, I have provided my name for publication.
During the conversation I had with said journalist, he relayed the response from Arthur Fraunfelder that my observations were “largely exaggerated”.
While I vehemently refute that assertion, (indeed I was directed by an RSPCA officer to “write down everything I saw that was even of the slightest concern, whether I thought it was serious or not”) it does console me to some extent that the RSPCA inspection which I instigated “identified some issues” which cr. Fraunfelder claimed “have been addressed”.
As far as I’m concerned, that is an official admission that things are not altogether rosy at the sanctuary, for the RSPCA to identify ANY “issues” which relate to animal welfare at a wildlife sanctuary is evidence that standards fall far short of what the public is entitled to expect.
There are also serious questions which need to be asked about Arthur Fraunfelder’s impartiality in this matter.
There is a clear conflict of interest that Arthur Fraunfelder is acting simultaneously as the head of the local RSPCA, veterinary officer for them and as a serving member of the local council.
Obviously Arthur Fraunfelder’s role as local councillor and council’s vested interest in promoting the sanctuary as both a tourist attraction and local recreational facility are at odds with his role as RSPCA inspector in providing an impartial assessment about animal welfare.
If the story is run in the mainstream press it will mean breaking my anonymity, but I think it’s a small price to pay for bringing this situation to the light of public scrutiny.