State Government’s long overdue review of animal welfare laws

AgForce has made a submission to the State Government into a long overdue review of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (ACPA).

Queensland’s animal welfare laws set minimum standards for the welfare of animals, set maximum penalties for offences and provide powers to inspectors to act when people’s actions fall below the minimum standards.

But the ACPA has been in place for 20 years without a significant review and now the State Government is looking to make changes.

It comes as more people choose to become pet owners following the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for companionship during lockdowns.

While AgForce does not recommend amending the Purposes of the Act, the ability exists to amend existing codes of practices, when needed, based on advancements in scientific knowledge and subsequent change in community expectations.

AgForce believes there is a corresponding need for the community to recognise that welfare expectations cannot continue to increase without advancements in science and technology and therefore there should be recognition that the agriculture industry “maintains” best practice animal welfare standards.

Other key components of the submission include:

  • AgForce strongly disagrees with veterinarians being obligated under the ACPA to report suspected incidents of animal cruelty or neglect to authorities.
  • AgForce strongly disagrees that transporting an unrestrained dog in the back of an open utility, tray of a truck or from an open window should be made a specific offence under the ACPA.
  • AgForce strongly agrees that the powers of inspectors under the ACPA are sufficient to allow inspectors to effectively deal with animal welfare incidents and do not require strengthening.
  • AgForce strongly disagrees that Penalty Infringement Notices (PIN) should be introduced as a compliance option under the ACPA for clearly defined, low range animal welfare offences.
  • AgForce strongly agrees that the maximum penalties for animal welfare offences under the APCA are appropriate.

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