The use of animals in scientific testing, restraining dogs in open “utes’’ or other vehicles and whether vets should be legally compelled to report suspected animal cruelty will all be considered as part of the Queensland Government’s first review of its animal welfare laws in more than 20-years.
Queensland’s Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner this week said it was time laws were updated to ensure they remained in step with community expectations surrounding animal welfare and protection.
Mr Furner, in making the announcement on Sunday (April 4), said all Queenslanders were invited to have their say on possible changes to the laws on issues including the use of baits and traps and whether the current penalties for animal cruelty offences were harsh enough.
“I know Queenslanders love their animals as valued members of their families,” Mr Furner said.
“They are also vital to agricultural production, involved in sport and recreational activities, and they assist individuals and services in areas such as quarantine and security.”
“While the current laws have served us well, they’ve been operating for 20 years without a significant review. In that time, the community’s expectations for animal welfare has evolved.
“This review will examine all aspects of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 to ensure that the Act continues to meet changing community expectations and modern animal welfare practices.
“RSPCA Queensland is an important animal welfare partner with the Queensland Government and we will be working closely with them on this review.
“I encourage anyone who has an interest in the care of animals to have a say as part of the review – whether you have pets, produce livestock for a living, or work with animals.”
Topics to be raised and seeking community feedback ahead of the review include:
- Mandatory reporting by veterinary professionals of animal welfare concerns;
- Prohibited events, regulated surgical procedures and offence exemptions;
- The use of baits and traps;
- Restraining dogs in open utility vehicles and trucks;
- The use of animals in science;
- Inspector powers and arrangements for externally appointed inspectors;
- The management of animals seized during animal welfare investigations; and
- Penalties for animal cruelty.
Organisations and people wanting to have their say should do so before midnight on May 21 by visiting biosecurity.qld.gov.au and searching for ‘ACPA review’ to complete the survey or submit a written response.