Queensland’s animal welfare laws strengthened

 

If you own or work with animals, changes to Queensland’s Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 may affect you.

The amendments are designed to ensure the furry members of our community are taken care of, and our animal welfare standards and penalties meet modern practices and community expectations.

We’ve summarised a few of the amendments which commenced on 12 December 2022 following a significant review of the Act.

 

Some of the amendments include:

  • A new offence for cruelty which relates to causing unjustifiable, unnecessary, or unreasonable pain to animals (i.e. the use of electric prodders on horses, leaving an animal in a hot car, beating, overworking and more). A maximum penalty of up to $287,500 or three years imprisonment applies.
  • A new offence for breach of the duty of care where the breach causes death, serious deformity, serious disability, or prolonged suffering of an animal. A maximum penalty of up to $287,500 or three years imprisonment applies.
  • A new offence for unreasonable abandonment or release (it includes going away on holiday or moving house and leaving a pet behind to fend for itself, or deliberately dumping an unwanted animal at the roadside or in the bush). A maximum penalty of up to $43,125 or one year imprisonment applies.
  • Prohibition of the use and possession of pronged dog collars. A maximum penalty of $4,312.50 applies for possession of a prong collar and a maximum penalty of $14,375 applies for the use of a prong collar.
  • Under the Act, it is an offence to organise, supply animals to, participate in, or be present at prohibited events (i.e. coursing, certain types of hunting, dogfighting and more). Different penalties apply according to the reason for being present at a prohibited event.
  • A person who uses CSSP Pig Poison in Queensland may be prosecuted for animal cruelty under the Act.
  • A requirement for dogs to be secured on a vehicle, with an exemption for working dogs.
  • Strengthening inspector powers in relation to entry and compliance with animal welfare directions.
  • Clarification of the scientific use of animals, including alignment of the scientific use provisions to the Australian Scientific Use Code.
  • A new framework for accrediting persons to undertake cattle spaying and pregnancy testing.

 

The amended Act was the result of a significant review. This included a review of the latest scientific knowledge as well as a state-wide stakeholder and community consultation to ensure the changes aligned with animal welfare expectations from the community. The review also took into consideration that animal industries need to be able to operate appropriately and without unnecessary burden.

For more information visit Changes to the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 or contact the department on 13 25 23.

 

Sources: Changes to the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 – https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/animal/health/welfare/qld/act-changes.

 

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