A vital component of the NSPCA’s work is the provision of training to staff to prevent cruelty to animals and to work with communities to protect them. This includes educational work and practical assistance. The starting point is the upliftment of SPCA personnel who are involved in actively improving the lives of animals. Hence a dedicated Training Unit and a career path in animal welfare.
The SPCA movement enforces over 90% of the animal welfare legislation in South Africa. Understanding and applying legislation is a key component of the training of Inspectors. Qualified Inspectors are authorised in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962. An SPCA Inspector has to be a highly trained, skilled and compassionate person who is able to deal with people and animals. There is ongoing training throughout the careers of Inspectors.
Courses, including for Senior Inspectors, are regularly reviewed, updated and revised, including the development and production of training materials, manuals and presentations.
Training is provided for Field Officers who interact with communities in an educational upliftment role. Many continue along the animal welfare career path and become Inspectors.
Course presenters are specialists in their fields. In addition to theoretical work including investigation protocols and techniques, courses involve practical work and application.
There are other role players in the field of animal protection and Specific training programmes have been created to assist them. Specialised courses are presented to Stock Theft personnel, the South African Police Service, Border Control, Correctional Services, Public Prosecutors, Veterinary students, Animal Health Technicians and other service providers. The training aims to ensure as many officials as possible are equipped with the knowledge necessary to protect animals. Working together improves the outcomes for animals and maximises the consequences for those who harm them.
Training and networking lead to greater kindness and compassion towards animals.