Call centre process failure contributes to horses deaths

Skinny horse in the pasture in the summer

How a call centre contributed to the death of horses 

The importance of systems and communication between call centres and the rest of the business has been sadly demonstrated in a shocking case of horse cruelty in Melbourne last week.

It is believed that RSPCA was notified of the issue but internal failures lead to the field officers not being notified ultimately leading to the death of over 20 horses.

Personally I have zero tolerance for anyone who hurts animals and hope this low life scum of a human being gets the proverbial book thrown at him.

This article appeared in the Herald Sun on 16 April and was authored by Kara Irving.

THE RSPCA has apologised to the whistleblower who alerted it to a shocking horse cruelty scandal in Melbourne’s north.

The charity has been widely criticised for its handling of the situation.

About 22 dead and 23 malnourished horses were found on horse trainer Bruce Akers’ Bulla property on March 28.

Rob Mitchell, who called the RSPCA before Easter, said the charity’s chief executive, Dr Liz Walker, and its chief operating officer, Jon McGregor, ­visited him this week.

“They wanted to apologise and said they were completely at fault, the system let them down and they were doing something about it,” he said.

The RSPCA had initially blamed Mr Mitchell for providing the wrong information to a contact centre.

But he said he was told that the message had become “misconstrued” between a Queensland call centre and the Melbourne inspectors.

“They have not got the ­resources,” Mr Mitchell said.

Dr Walker said she had assured Mr Mitchell that his initial report to the RSPCA was “not wrong”. She said the RSPCA would wait until the findings of an internal review to comment on how its staff had responded.

Financial reports reveal that RSPCA Victoria has lost more than $12 million in three years. The charity has been in the red for five of the past 10 years — raising concern about the resources it has to respond to animal cruelty incidents.

Dr Walker said the public still had confidence in the RSPCA.

“We will conduct a pretty rigorous and independent external review to look at the demand of our inspectorates and the level of resources to meet that demand.”

Shadow agriculture minister Peter Walsh said the RSPCA should be held to account over the situation.

Mr Akers is on bail facing 92 animal cruelty charges and reappears in court on May 2.

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