Any reality or documentary producer will tell you that the presence of cameras changes everything.
Yesterday the RSPCA was told to review its agreement with Channel Seven’s RSPCA Animal Rescue.
A New South Wales government inquiry recommended the RSPCA review its agreement with Animal Rescue, following a raid where koalas were removed from a wildlife park at Gunnedah in New South Wales.
In February TV cameras from Imagination Television accompanied RSPCA inspectors as they raided the Waterways Wildlife Park and removed 8 koalas found to be stressed, dehydrated and malnourished.
Nancy Small, one of the owners of the park, told ABC Radio’s PM that the day was made more difficult by the presence of a film crew.
“To me it was just setting up the whole scene for a TV program, just to get an expose for the film crew. And really on the day I just couldn’t understand the whole thing.”
The inquiry recommened that the RSPCA ensures that its contract with Imagination Television requires the Animal Rescue film crew to obtain written consent from property owners prior to the commencement of filming.
Steve Coleman from RSPCA conceded, “…..the involvement of Animal Rescue in some quarters has been considered salt in the wound. That is a risk that any organisation takes when they involve shows such as Animal Rescue and it clearly escalated on this occasion.”
Source: ABC Online