Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has today released the NSW Animal Welfare Reform – Discussion Paper as the next step in the NSW Government’s commitment to modernise animal welfare legislation.
Mr Marshall said while the care of animals was a universal value, it was critical the state’s laws provide the right legal framework to protect all animals.
“I am calling on all members of the community to help shape the future of animal welfare in NSW,” Mr Marshall said.
“Expectations and animal welfare science have changed drastically in the 40 years since our existing laws were written. With the community’s help, three pieces of legislation will be replaced with one modern Act.
“The NSW Animal Welfare Reform – Discussion Paper outlines a series of proposals about the future of animal welfare legislation and it’s important all stakeholders, from farmers to mum and dad pet owners, have the opportunity to provide us their feedback.
“We now have Australia’s toughest set of animal cruelty penalties, but it is vital our legislation is in line with the best available science and community expectations.”
The feedback on the discussion paper will support legislation development to create an animal management framework that is easier to understand, closes loopholes and reflects new best-practice since the original legislation was developed 40 years ago.
This will be the second round of consultation on animal welfare reform and Mr Marshall said significant feedback had already been gathered.
“More than 1,100 stakeholders including key representative bodies and experts had their say in the first round of consultation and this has been used to develop a series of proposals outlined in the NSW Animal Welfare Reform – Discussion Paper,” Mr Marshall said.
Proposals in the Discussion Paper include:
- Setting a minimum care requirement for those responsible for animals;
- Clarifying what constitutes cruelty and who is responsible for the care of an animal;
- Introducing a modern penalties framework with increased penalty amounts and new and enhanced offences; and
- Providing updated powers and tools to protect animals.