State to review animal welfare laws

Queenslanders invited to have their say on legislation.

Animal Welfare League Queensland is urging RACQ members to have their say on the State Government’s review of animal welfare laws.

AWLQ Strategic Director Dr Joy Verrinder said the Queensland Animal Care and Protection Act had not been reviewed for 20 years.

She said in that time animal welfare knowledge and research had progressed rapidly.

“Research increasingly shows that not only the animals who are part of our family, but also animals used for farming and research, all need positive physical, social and emotional experiences, as well as protection from cruelty and neglect,” Dr Verrinder said. 

She said the Act aimed to “achieve a reasonable balance between the welfare needs of animals and the interests of people whose livelihood is dependent on the animals”.

“However, humans have a direct say about their lives, animals do not,” Dr Verrinder said.

“Consequently, those who care about animals’ well-being need to participate in these consultations to develop new laws or changes to laws regarding animals.” 

As part of the review, the State Government is seeking feedback on issues including:

  • 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; 
  • Penalties for animal cruelty.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Rural Communities said the review would continue to ensure animal welfare laws remained effective.

“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.”

Have your say before midnight on Friday May 21 by visiting biosecurity.qld.gov.au and searching for “ACPA review” to complete the survey or submit a written response.