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National Animal Welfare Bill 2003 [2004]

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2003

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL ANIMAL WELFARE BILL 2003

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Leader of the Australian Democrats,

Senator Andrew Bartlett)

 

 

 

NATIONAL ANIMAL WELFARE BILL 2003



General Outline



 

Objectives of the legislation

The primary objective of the Bill is to identify animal welfare as a national issue of concern, and to institute comprehensive and proactive legislation that promotes the responsible care and use of animals and strives to protect animals from acts of cruelty.

 

The Bill will provide the means by which the care and use of animals can be coordinated, monitored and reviewed nationally, with the establishment of a National Animal Welfare Authority that has the power to do whatever is necessary for or in connection with, or reasonably incidental to, the performance of its functions. In providing such means, the Bill aims to:

 

·          achieve a reasonable balance between the welfare needs of animals and the interests of people who use animals for a livelihood;

·          reflect human community attitudes and expectations as to how animals should be treated;

·          acknowledge advances in the scientific knowledge of animal biology, psychology and behaviour.

 

The Bill also seeks to regulate the use of animals for all private, commercial, institutional, educational and government research and experimentation to ensure the use of animals for such purposes are accountable, open, ethical, humane and responsible.

 

Reasons for the Bill

This Bill, in essence, is an extension of the extraordinary work of the Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare. The Bill expands on the legislative reforms established by that Committee, and brings into focus the major advances in our knowledge and understanding of animal biology, psychology and behaviour.

 

In 1982, the then Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Don Chipp, Senator to Victoria, initiated and founded the Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, with Senator George Georges, ALP Senator to Queensland, in the chair—a role he accomplished with distinction.

 

Over the course of the Committee’s lifetime, it pursued significant and varied animal welfare issues and concerns under its terms of reference.

 

The committee produced 10 substantiative reports during its 8 years. The more influential of these reports were: Export of Live Sheep from Australia (1985), Dolphins and Whales in Captivity (1985), Animal Experimentation (1989), and Intensive Livestock Production (1990). The Australian Democrats acknowledge that the gains made, at this time, were substantial, but twenty years on it’s clear that animal welfare needs to, once again, become a Commonwealth priority. At worst, animal welfare, as an issue, needs to be reviewed; at best it needs its own legislation.

 

Animal welfare legislation has been in existence, in one form or other, at a state and territorial level for many decades. Changes, progress and review of state and territorial animal welfare legislation have been very slow, indeed. It took Queensland 15 years to finalise its amendments to its 75-year-old legislation, and now it has the most progressive legislation in Australia.

 

The vagaries of each state’s and territory’s animal welfare legislation, their application and implication make it virtually impossible for there to be any expeditious advancements in animal health, commercial productivity and economic growth—a situation that could be improved immeasurably through the introduction of a national approach on animal welfare. Diverse and incongruent state and territorial legislation minimise the opportunity for creating binding codes and practices, reduce knowledge-sharing, render comprehensive monitoring impossible, ensure uniform standards remain anything but, and put comparative state-by-state reviews out of the question. But the greatest loss is in the area of statistical gathering, for without this there will never be a national database on animal experimentation, and neither will it be possible to establish a national tissue bank.

 

Much is jeopardised for the sake of maintaining state and territorial political and administrative integrity. Despite most states and territories having revised or enacted their respective animal welfare legislation, it largely remains reactive. Emphasis is on punishing acts of cruelty to animals after the event rather than striving to prevent them.

 

State and Territorial Animal Welfare Legislation

The current animal welfare legislation in the Australian states and territories is as follows:

 

ACT    Animal Welfare Act 1992

NT       Animal Welfare Act 1999

NSW   Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979

QLD    Animal Care and Protection Act 2001

SA       Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1985

TAS     Animal Welfare Act 1993

VIC     Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986

WA     Animal Welfare Act 2002

 

NSW has the oldest legislation of the states and territories—over twenty years old—it is in desperate need of a review and overhaul, and highlights the need for a national approach.

 

Individual state and territory legislation is further complicated by the fact that their animal welfare legislation has a large criminal component within it but, strangely, it is the only legislation that is not driven by their respective state or territory police forces. Instead, we see animal welfare legislation largely being enforced by the RSPCA Inspectorate, with some states and territories also granting special constable status to officers within a state Department of Primary Industries or an equivalent.

 

Despite growing community interest and concern for animals, state and territorial governments largely continue to ignore or push aside animal welfare legislation. It is only in recent years that these governments have started to recognise their responsibilities to animals, and that it needs to be broader than just enforcement.

 

Enforcement

The RSPCA Inspectorate currently consists of approximately 75 full-time and 75 honorary or part-time inspectors Australia-wide. A number that is surely inadequate considering Australia’s extraordinarily high number of domestic animals and production livestock, and knowing that Australia is a vast and challenging continent at the best of times—least of all when there are periods of drought and floods or a combination of both.

Unremittent drought together with the associated economic down turn has put enormous and unbearable pressures on many rural and regional communities in recent times. This has, in turn, had dire consequences for some domestic animals and production livestock. It is obviously difficult to provide feed, shelter, comfort and protection in an emotionally and financially impoverished community.

 

The physical conditions exacerbate a difficult situation; some previously competent and caring individuals suddenly find themselves incapable of providing the necessities to care, protect and sustain their and their family’s life, let alone protect and care for their animals, which results in unintentional neglect. Others, in contrast, consciously and maliciously seek to unburden their emotional and financial torment by inflicting cruelties and, sometimes, death upon an animal, whether it be their own, someone else’s or wildlife. And it is not only confined to regional and rural areas; the incidents and gravity of animal abuse incidents in metropolitan areas are, also, on the increase.

 

The application and enforcement of animal welfare legislation is vitally important in the protection and caring of animals. But the application and enforcement, if and when these incidents are reported, does vary significantly. Variation in the application of animal welfare legislation largely comes down to RSPCA inspectors, Department of Primary Industry (DPI) officers and special constables pursuing enforcement in accordance with their own individual state and territorial legislation. And some leave much to be desired.

 

ACT

The Animal Welfare Act 1992 provides for inspectors to be appointed in the public service, including the person holding the office of Animal Welfare Authority and his/her delegates, police officers, and “…anyone else appointed in writing by the chief executive.” It also provides for public servants who are a veterinary surgeon to be “authorised officers”.

 

The RSPCA (ACT) Inc has an inspectorate service to ensure community compliance with the Animal Welfare Act 1992 . The Act gives RSPCA inspectors the power, when necessary, to enter premises, seize and animal and lay charges on a person which could result in fines up to $10,000, a year’s imprisonment, or both. The RSPCA receives funding from the ACT Government to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 1992 on its behalf.

In 2002 funding was approximately $145 000, or 12% of the RSPCA budget.

 

NT

Animal welfare inspectors are appointed under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and include RSPCA representatives, members of the Northern Territory Police Force, and Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development stock inspectors and veterinarians. The RSPCA receives a grant of $55 000 from the Territory Government.

 

NSW

RSPCA NSW is named in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 as a charitable organisation, which may then be approved for law enforcement purposes by its officers. In each of the last two years, RSPCA NSW has received a grant of $211 000 for its inspection service.

 

QLD

After 75 years of enforcing the Animals Protection Act , the RSPCA now continues its enforcement role under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 . RSPCA inspectors and a taskforce of DPI inspectors have powers to investigate and prosecute in suspected cases of animal cruelty.

 

The Animals Protection Act was created in 1925 by the Queensland legislature, and RSPCA inspectors became responsible for investigating breaches of and enforcing the Act. For many years, the Inspectorate was assisted by ‘honorary inspectors’, volunteers who dedicated much of their lives to investigating suspected cases of cruelty. Honorary inspectors no longer operate in Queensland under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 .

 

SA

All inspectors are nominated by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.A.) and appointed by the Minister. The annual payment to the RSPCA for services under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1985 is about $500 000.

 

Last year the total budget for animal welfare services by the Department for Environment and Heritage, including public awareness and information services relating to animal welfare, the provision of external advisory services, and administration and enforcement of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1985 , was $864 000.

 

TAS

The Minister may appoint officers who have powers of entry and enforcement under the Animal Welfare Act 1993 , or inspectors for animal research institutes. Codes of Practice apply to animal research, and animal welfare standards apply generally.

 

VIC

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 identifies inspectors as being full-time officers from the RSPCA who have been approved by the Minister, with additional support coming from police officers and other Ministerial approved persons. In the last two years the Inspectorate has received grants of $100 000 p.a., now representing 6% of the cost of the Inspectorate, compared to 28% in 1985/1986.

 

WA

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 , the Director General is to appoint as general inspectors those members of the staff of the RSPCA nominated by the RSPCA, as well as various members of the public service. Codes of practice may be made by regulation. The Western Australian animal welfare codes of practice are based on national codes.

 

All of these codes have been endorsed and are supported by the relevant livestock industries in Western Australia.

 

The RSPCA-WA employs nine full-time RSPCA Inspectors, five in the metropolitan area and three based in country centres. The Society also has the assistance of some 47 Shire Rangers around the State who have been appointed as agents and Special Constables for the RSPCA. There is no State Government subsidy for the RSPCA-WA.

 

Codes of Practice

There are 21 Australian Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, prepared by the Animal Welfare Committee, within the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ) system, and one specifically aimed at animal experimentation—the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes , published by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

 

Most states have implemented the model codes either by adopting them outright or by adopting a local version of them; all of the states also have codes that reflect local fauna and industries within their jurisdictions.

 

•        The ACT has 18 codes, of which the only national code is the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes . All the others are ACT initiated, though they cover similar topics to the model codes and may in large part be identical.

 

•        In the Northern Territory there are, currently, 6 codes based on the model codes, but more are likely following completion of a review.

 

•        New South Wales has 19 codes, 8 of which are the model codes.

 

•        Queensland has 20 codes, with 18 of them being the model codes.

 

•        South Australia, also, has 20 codes, of which 17 are the model codes.

 

•        Tasmania has 13 codes, 11 of which are based on the model codes, with 2 developed locally.

 

•        Victoria has 33 codes, 15 of which are based on the model codes.

 

•        Western Australia has 23 codes, with16 based on the model codes.

 

Adoption or modification of one or more of the Australian Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals by the state and territory governments could be seen as a willingness by the states and territories to accept a broad national approach to animal welfare, certainly in relation to livestock and feral livestock. It could be argued that a precedent for a national approach on animal welfare has been established. 

 

National Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals

Animals at Saleyards

Farmed Buffalo

The Camel

Cattle

Land Transport of Cattle

The Farming of Deer

Husbandry of Captive-Bred Emus

Feral Livestock Animals

The Goat

Land Transport of Horses

Pigs

Land Transport of Pigs

Domestic Poultry

Land Transport of Poultry

Intensive Husbandry of Rabbits

Livestock at Slaughtering Establishments

The Sheep

Air Transport of Livestock

Sea Transport of Livestock

Rail Transport of Livestock

Road Transport of Livestock

 

ACT

Slaugtering livestock

Pet shops

Cattle welfare

Codes of Practice - horse welfare

Bird welfare

Cat welfare - code of practice

Animals in pounds and shelters

Welfare of farmed deer

Humane control of the fox

Codes of practice - dog welfare

Sheep welfare

Welfare of animals - poultry

Saleyards

Goat welfare

Welfare of greyhounds

Pet Grooming

Kangaroo control

Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes

 

NT

National Model Codes currently applicable to the Northern Territory are:

the model codes on feral animals,

the use of animals for research,

land transport of cattle,

the poultry code,

the livestock code (under the Meat Industry Act), and

the NHMRC code on research use.

 

Consideration is also being given to the rodeo code, buffaloes and camels—the process is being delayed because the Northern Territory Government is reviewing its Animal Welfare Act. 

 

NSW

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals in Films and Theatrical Performances, approved on 3 February 1997 by the Animal Welfare Advisory Council.

 

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals Used in Rodeo Events , as approved on 30 April 1988 by the Animal Welfare Advisory Council.

 

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (General) Regulation 1996

The following documents, published by the CSIRO, are prescribed as guidelines:

(a) Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals—Domestic Poultry (3rd Edition, 1995),

(b) Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals—Farmed Buffalo (1995),

(c) Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals—Animals at Saleyards (1991),

(d) Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals—The Goat (1991),

(e) Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals—The Sheep (1991),

(f) Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals—The Farming of Deer (1991),

(g) Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals—Cattle (1992),

(h) National Guidelines for Beef Cattle Feedlots in Australia (2nd Edition, 1997).

 

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Animal Trades) Regulation 1996:

Code of Ethics for the Keeping and Trading of Birds” (3rd edition), published in 1996 by the Associated Birdkeepers of Australia Inc.

 

The Care and Management of Animals in Pet Shops”, published in 1996 by the Department of Agriculture.

 

The Care and Management of Dogs and Cats in Animal Boarding Establishments”, published in 1996 by the Department of Agriculture.

 

The Care and Management of Breeding Dogs”, published in 1996 by the Department of Agriculture.

 

The Care and Management of Breeding Cats”, published in 1996 by the Department of Agriculture.

 

The Care and Management of Animals by Companion Animal Transport Agencies”, published in 1996 by the Department of Agriculture.

 

The Care and Management of Animals in Pet Grooming Establishments”, published in 1996 by the Department of Agriculture.

 

The Care and Management of Security Dogs”, published in 1996 by the Department of Agriculture.

 

The Care and Management of Horses in Riding Centres and Boarding Stables”, published in 1996 by the Department of Agriculture.

 

QLD

Animal Care and Protection Regulation 2002

 

Part 1—Compulsory Codes of Practice

1. ‘Queensland code of practice for the welfare of animals in circuses’, published by the department, 2003 .

 

Part 2—Voluntary Codes of Practice

2. ‘Australian code of practice for the welfare of cattle in beef feedlots’, in section 2.2, appendix 2.2A of the ‘National guidelines for beef cattle feedlots in Australia’, 2nd edition, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, published by CSIRO, 1997, SCARM Report No. 47.

 

3. ‘Australian model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Cattle’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Health Committee, published by CSIRO, 1992, SCA Report Series No. 39.

4. ‘Australian model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Land transport of cattle’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, published by CSIRO, 1999, SCARM Report No. 77.

 

5. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Animals at saleyards’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Health Committee, published by CSIRO, 1991, SCA Technical Report Series No.31.

 

6. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Domestic poultry’, 4th edition, prepared for the Primary Industries Standing Committee, published by CSIRO, 2002, SCARM Report No. 83.

 

7. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Farmed buffalo’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, Animal Health Committee, published by CSIRO, 1995, SCARM Report Series No. 52.

 

8. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Feral livestock animals: Destruction or capture handling and marketing’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Health Committee, published by CSIRO, 1991, SCA Technical Report Series No. 34.

 

9. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Husbandry of captive-bred emus’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, published by CSIRO, 1999, SCARM Report No. 69.

 

10. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Intensive husbandry of rabbits’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Health Committee, published by CSIRO, 1991, SCA Technical Report Series No. 33.

 

11. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Land transport of horses’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resources Management, published by CSIRO, 1998, SCARM Report No. 62.

 

12. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Land transport of pigs’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, published by CSIRO, 1997, SCARM Report No. 63.

 

13. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Land transport of poultry’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, published by CSIRO, 1998, SCARM Report No. 65.

 

14. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Livestock at slaughtering establishments’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, published by CSIRO, 2001, SCARM Report No. 79.

 

15. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—Pigs’, 2 nd edition, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, published by CSIRO, 1998, SCARM Report No. 66.

 

16. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—The camel (Camelus dromedarius)’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, published by CSIRO, 1997, SCARM Report No. 61.

 

17. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—The farming of deer’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Health Committee, published by CSIRO, 1991, SCA Technical Report Series No. 30.

 

18. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—The farming of ostriches’, prepared for the Primary Industries Standing Committee, unpublished.

 

19. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—The goat’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Health Committee, published by CSIRO, 1991, SCA Technical Report Series No. 32.

 

20. ‘Model code of practice for the welfare of animals—The sheep’, prepared for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, Animal Health Committee, published by CSIRO, 1991, SCARM Report Series No. 29.

 

SA

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations (No. 2) Regs 2000, Schedule 2:

South Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Management of Animals in the Pet Trade , Animal Welfare Unit, Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs (1999).

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, The Destruction or Capture, Handling and Marketing of Feral Livestock Animals , Australian Agricultural Council (1991), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Animals at Saleyards , Australian Agricultural Council (1991), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Livestock and Poultry at Slaughtering Establishments (Abattoirs, Slaughterhouses and Knackeries) , Australian Agricultural Council (1986), as amended from time to time.

 

South Australian Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals in Circuses , Office of Animal Welfare, Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs (1997).

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Air Transport of Livestock Australian Agricultural Council (1986), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Sea Transport of Livestock Australian Agricultural Council (1987), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, The Camel , Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (1997), as amended from time to time.

 

South Australian Code of Practice for the Husbandry of Captive Birds , Office of Animal Welfare, Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs (1999).

Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Cattle , Australian Agricultural Council (1992), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, The Farming of Deer , Australian Agricultural Council (1991), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Intensive Husbandry of Rabbits , Australian Agricultural Council (1991), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, The Goat , Australian Agricultural Council (1991), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Land Transport of Horses Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (1998), as amended from time to time.

 

Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Road Transport of Livestock , Australian Agricultural Council (1983, see Gazette 24 April 1986 p. 1035), as amended from time to time.

 

Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Rail Transport of Livestock , Australian Agricultural Council (1983, see Gazette 24 April 1986 p. 1051), as amended from time to time.

 

Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, The Pig , Australian Agricultural Council (1983, see Gazette 24 April 1986 p. 1017), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Land Transport of Pigs , Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (1997), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Land Transport of Poultry , Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (1998), as amended from time to time.

 

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, The Sheep , Australian Agricultural Council (1991), as amended from time to time.

 

TAS

Tasmanian Animal Welfare Standards

Animal Welfare Standard No 1 - Sheep

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 2 - Cattle 

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 3 - Deer

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 4 - Goats 

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 5 - Pigs

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 6 - Animals in Saleyards

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 7 - Road Transport of Livestock

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 8 - Transport of Livestock across Bass Strait

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 9 - Emus

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 10 - SCARM Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry (3rd Edition)

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 11 - Trade and Transport of Calves including Bobby Calves

 

Animal Welfare Standard No 13 - Code of Practice for Capture, Handling, Transport and Slaughter of Brush-tail Possums

 

Draft Animal Welfare Standard for the Commercial & Recreational Hunting of Wallabies in Tasmania

 

VIC

Birds:  Code of practice for the housing of cage birds



Boarding establishments for cats and dogs: Code of practice for the operation of boarding establishments



Breeding and rearing cats and dogs: Code of practice for the operation of breeding and rearing establishments



Cattle: Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of cattle

 

Deer:   Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of deer



Dogs:   Code of practice for the debarking of dogs

Code of practice for the operation of dog training establishments

 

Emus: Code of practice for the husbandry of captive emus



Exhibition of animals: Code of practice for the public display and exhibition of animals



Film animals: Code of practice for the welfare of film animals



Goats: Code of practice for the welfare of goats



Horses:            Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of horses

Code of practice for the welfare of horses competing at bush races

Code of practice for the land transport of horses

Code of practice for the welfare of horses at horse hire establishments



Hunting: Code of practice for the welfare of animals in hunting



Pet shops: Code of practice for the operation of pet shops



Pigs:    Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of pigs

Code of practice for the land transport of pigs



 

 

Poultry: Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of poultry

Code of practice for the land transport of poultry



Rabbits: Code of practice for the intensive husbandry of rabbits



Rodeos: Code of practice for the welfare of rodeo and rodeo school livestock



Saleyards: Code of practice for the welfare of animals at saleyards



Scientific procedures:     

Code of practice for the use of animals from municipal pounds in scientific procedures.

Code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific procedures Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes



Sheep: Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of sheep



Shelters and pounds for dogs and cats: Code of practice for the management of dogs and cats in shelters and pounds



Traps: Code of practice for the use of small steel-jawed traps



Tethering animals: Code of practice for the tethering of animals



Transportation (see horses, pigs, poultry for specific codes): Code of practice for the welfare of animals during transportation



Wildlife: Code of practice for the welfare of wildlife during rehabilitation

 

WA

Australian Rules of Racing

 

Buffalo: Code of practice for farmed buffalo in Western Australia

 

Camels: Code of practice for camels in Western Australia

 

Cattle: Code of practice for cattle in Western Australia

 

Cattle transportation: Code of practice for the transportation of cattle in Western Australia

 

Circuses: Code of practice for the conduct of circuses in Western Australia

 

Deer: Code of practice for farming deer in Western Australia

 

Emus: Code of practice for keeping emus in Western Australia

 

Exhibited Animals: Code of practice for exhibited animals in Western Australia

 

Feral animals: Code of practice for the capture and marketing of feral animals in Western Australia

 

Goats: Code of practice for goats in Western Australia

 

Horse transportation: Code of practice for the transportation of horses in Western Australia

 

Pigs: Code of practice for pigs in Western Australia

 

Pig transportation: Code of practice for the transportation of pigs in Western Australia

 

Pigeons: Code of practice for pigeon keeping and racing in Western Australia

 

Poultry: Code of practice for poultry in Western Australia

 

Poultry transportation: Code of practice for the transportation of poultry in Western Australia

 

Rabbits: Code of practice for keeping rabbits in Western Australia

 

Rodeos: Code of practice for the conduct of rodeos in Western Australia

 

Rules of Harness Racing 1999

 

Saleyards: Code of practice for animals at saleyards in Western Australia

 

Sheep: Code of practice for sheep in Western Australia

 

Sheep transportation: Code of practice for the transportation of sheep in Western Australia

 

Clearly there is a need for proactive intervention—and it is the belief of the Australian Democrats that this is best provided at a national level.

 

A national approach on animal welfare needed

Commonwealth legislation would ensure consistency, expediency and efficiency. For the first time, states and territories would be able to engage in mutually beneficial transactions that would have an immediate impact on Australia’s ever expanding international trade and treaties involving domestic, livestock and wildlife. Wherever there are inconsistencies there are unnecessary complications, confusion, duplications and inefficiencies, none of which are conducive to improved productivity and economic growth.

 

The Australian Democrats’ National Animal Welfare Bill 2003 would provide all those involved with animals and animal by-products a substantial foundation on which to build a workable and flexible approach to animal welfare nationally.

 

On a state and territorial level, the Bill would operate concurrently with state and territorial laws, but where the state or territory laws were deemed more stringent by the Commonwealth Minister, those provisions would prevail over those of the Bill.

 

In theory, these measures would make it easier for the Bill to leap the procedural and bureaucratic barrier, particularly if support for the establishment of the National Animal Welfare Authority is forthcoming—a regulatory authority with overarching responsibility for the legislation, its application and implication.

 

National Animal Welfare Authority

The Authority should comprise 13 members—all of whom are to be appointed by the Minister. Three members will represent the Commonwealth; 2 members will represent commercial producers or users of animals and animal products (one intensive and one extensive); 2 members will represent animal welfare NGOs; 2 members will represent community groups; and 4 other members, and of which 2 of whom will be scientists; and 1 an animal ethicist.

 

The functions and powers of the National Animal Welfare Authority are:

(a)     the coordination, monitoring and review of Commonwealth responsibilities for animal welfare;

(b)     functions and powers conferred on it by or under the Act (other than this section);

(c)     functions and powers conferred on it by or under other laws of the Commonwealth;

(d)     functions and powers that are, with the consent of the Ministerial Council, conferred on the Authority by writing signed by the Minister.

 

It would also have the power to ‘do whatever is necessary for or in connection with, or reasonably incidental to, the performance of its functions’ but it must perform its functions and exercise its powers in accordance with the Agreement, and is to comply in all aspects with the provisions of that Agreement. As is appropriate for the success of such an Authority, it would have far-reaching functions and powers.

 

National Animal Welfare Authority Inspectorate

The most invaluable undertaking of the Authority would be the appointment of national animal inspectors, many of whom would be drawn from the existing RSPCA inspectorate and the officers within the various Departments of Agriculture and Primary Industries, and external to these entities, such as Animal Liberation. The appointment of animal inspectors, with functions and powers that go across state and territorial borders, ensures the Bill is not a toothless tiger. Each and every one of the inspectors would have the necessary means by which they could circumvent out-of-date and irrelevant legal obstacles. The focus of the Bill, the Authority and the inspectors is animals—their welfare, protection and rights.

 

Authority inspectors require the following powers and need to exercise these powers to fulfil the requirements under the Act:

 

(1)     Inspectors may undertake random inspections of animals;

(2)     A person with an animal in their care must permit inspection of the animal as well as of housing, foodstuffs and equipment intended for use with the animal.

(3)     The animal keeper must be advised of the inspection before or on the occasion of the visit;

(4)     An inspector may:

(a) inform the animal keeper that he or she has 12 hours in which to take action or their animals will be seized; or

(b) immediately seize animals; or

(c) humanely kill an animal, or take any other necessary steps to relieve an animal from suffering; or

(d) administer analgesics to animals.

 

Animals used in research and experimentation

Animals used for scientific, educational and research purposes, for example, would benefit greatly from a proactive national approach to animal welfare. Community concerns for animals used in this area are on the increase with the expansion of biotechnology research; and it is incumbent upon the Commonwealth to address these concerns. But aside from the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Animal Welfare Code of Conduct , which is only applicable to NHMRC funded projects there is no means by which animals subjected to such use can be readily managed, monitored and reviewed.

 

The Australian Democrats’ National Animal Welfare Bill 2003 emphasizes the monitoring of all animals used for scientific, educational and research purposes, irrespective of how the research is funded. Much would be achieved by extending the application of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Animal Welfare Code of Conduct —including meeting many of the community’s concerns about the issues of transparency and accountability in research and experimentation.

 

Currently, much of the research involving animals used for scientific and research purposes, falls under the ‘commercial in confidence’ category, which denies the community the opportunity to scrutinise the processes and practices employed. The Australian Democrats’ National Animal Welfare Bill 2003 seeks to address these issues and provides an appropriate legislative framework for investigating and dealing with this and other animal welfare issues at a national level.

 

Duty of care

The Bill gives consideration to: breach of duty of care, cruelty offences, prohibited conduct (including unreasonable abandonment, prohibited release, baits or harmful substances, and debarking operations), prohibited events (such as cockfights and dogfights), regulated conduct (such as obligation to exercise closely confined dogs, and animals used to feed another animal), live exports (including a limit on live exports, duties of the veterinary surgeons and liability), import of animal products, labelling of animal products, animals used for experimental purposes (including establishment of a data bank, licences, acquisition of animals for research and pain management), funding for animal research, and the administrative provisions relating to the Authority administration and staff.

 

Animal databanks

The legislation seeks to establish a databank of all experiments using animals carried out in both Australia and overseas, and another dedicated to alternatives to animal research and experimentation.

 

Recognition of animals contribution and sacrifice

This legislation is about recognising the importance, contribution and sacrifice of animals; not one of us can do without them. We are beholden to them, just as they are to us, but we, as a species, unlike them, are in a position of power and influence.  Let’s use that power and influence wisely, let’s provide animals with greater protection and care for the duration of their lives. 

 

The successful passage of the Australian Democrats’ legislation would demonstrate to the Australian community and our international trading partners that this country and its peoples are committed to meeting community and market obligations in relation to animal welfare issues.

 

In the 21 st Century, our mores and our collective community conscience demand better welfare, protection and rights for all animals.

 

Abbreviations used in the Explanatory Memorandum:

 

EIA - environmental impact assessment

EPBC Act - Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

NES - national environmental significance

NGO - non-government organisation

NHMRC - National Health and Medical Research Council

PER - public environment report



 

NATIONAL ANIMAL WELFARE BILL 2003

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Part 1—Preliminary

 

Clause 1: Short title

This clause provides for the Act to be cited as the National Animal Welfare Act 2003.

 

Clause 2: Commencement

Clause 2 provides that the Act commences on a day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent. In accordance with subsection (3) the remaining provisions of this Act to commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

 

Should the provisions referred to in subsection (2) not commence under that subsection within the period of 6 months on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the first day after the end of that period.

 

Clause 3: Purposes of the Act

This clause details the purposes of the Act. The Act is designed to:

 

·          promote the responsible care and use of animals by persons involved in their care or use;

·          ensure the development and maintenance of proper standards of care that:

— achieve a reasonable balance between the interests of people who depend on animals for their livelihood and the welfare of animals; and

— recognise improvements in scientific knowledge on animal biology and changes in community expectations about practices involving animals;

·          protect animals from unjust, unnecessary or unreasonable pain; and

·          ensure that the use of animals for scientific purposes is conducted in an accountable, open and responsible manner.

 

These purposes are designed to reflect a positive and proactive approach to animal care and protection rather than simply a reactive approach of dealing with acts of cruelty after they have occurred, although dealing with acts of cruelty after they have occurred is still an essential part of the Bill.

 

Clause 4: How purposes are to be primarily achieved

Clause 4 details the way in which the purposes of the Act are to be primarily achieved. They are:

 

·          providing for regulations about codes of practice for animal welfare;

— Codes are currently widely used and are generally accepted as a way of describing acceptable and unacceptable standards for animal care and use within a number of animal industries. Under the Bill, codes may be adopted as a way of defining minimum acceptable standards for animal care and use in a variety of areas;

·          allowing a regulation to require compliance with a code of practice;

— The Bill does not require all codes of practice adopted to be complied with. However, in some areas of animal use, the real or perceived animal welfare risk to the animal is significant enough to warrant requiring compliance with standards set out in a code;

·          imposing a duty of care on persons in charge of animals;

— The concept of a duty of care is essential to promoting a proactive approach to animal care and protection. The duty of care is designed to ensure that animal owners/users recognise their responsibilities towards animals;

·          prohibiting certain conduct in relation to animals;

— The community generally regards certain conduct in relation to animals as unacceptable. This includes conduct that may generally be categorised as cruel as well as certain specific practices and procedures that the community regards as inherently cruel or unnecessary;

·          requiring a person using an animal for scientific purposes to comply with the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (‘the scientific use code’);

— The scientific use code is a national code and aims to ensure the humane care of animals used for a broad range of scientific purposes;

·          providing for the registration of certain users of animals for scientific purposes;

— This reflects the Commonwealth Senate Select Committee into Animal Welfare (1989) recommendation that, as a means of controlling the use of animals for scientific

purposes, research institutions using animals should be licensed;

·          providing for the appointment of authorised officers to monitor compliance with compulsory code requirements and the scientific use code;

·          providing for the appointment of inspectors to investigate and enforce the Act—The Bill increases the classes of persons who may be appointed as inspectors to investigate and enforce the legislation; and

·          providing for the establishment of the Animal Welfare Authority to advise the Minister on animal welfare issues and the implementation of this Act.

 

Clause 5: Application of the Act

This clause provides that the provisions of Part 5 together with the provisions of this Act will apply in Australia and in each external territory and, in turn, gives effect to a prescribed treaty or international agreements, and relates to matters external to Australia and those of international concern. 

Without prejudice to their effect because of subsection (1) or (2), the provisions of this Act apply to the welfare of animals and dealings in respect of animals: 

 

·          that are owned by, or in the possession or control of, the Commonwealth, or of an authority or instrumentality of the Commonwealth or of a Commonwealth company; or

·          that are supplied to the Commonwealth, or to an authority or instrumentality of the Commonwealth or to a Commonwealth company; or

·          that are owned by, or are in the possession or control of, a trading corporation; or 

·          that are owned by, or are in the possession or control of, a financial corporation; or

·          that are owned by, or in the possession or control of, a foreign corporation; or

·          that are situated in a state and/or territory or owned by or in the possession or control of a resident of a state and/or territory; or 

·          that are the subject of, or used in, the course of trade or commerce: 

(i)                  between Australia and a place outside Australia; or 

(ii)                among the States; or 

(iii)              within a Territory, between a State and a Territory or between 2 Territories. 

 

By force of this subsection, this Act, as it applies to a trading corporation or a financial corporation, has effect in relation to things done, or authorised or caused to be done, by the corporation in the course of its trading activities or its financial activities.

In this section: 

financial corporation means a body corporate that is, for the purposes of paragraph 51(xx) of the Constitution, a financial corporation formed within the limits of the Commonwealth. 

trading corporation means a body corporate that is, for the purposes of paragraph 51(xx) of the Constitution, a trading corporation formed within the limits of the Commonwealth. 

 

Clause 6: Saving of certain state and territory laws

Clause 6 makes provision for this Act not to affect the operation of a law of a state or of a territory that makes provision with respect to the welfare of animals and is capable of operating concurrently with this Act.   

 

In the event that state provisions are deemed more stringent by the Commonwealth Minister, those state provisions shall prevail. 

 

Clause 7:  Act to bind the Crown 

Clause 7 binds the Crown in all its capacities, and there is nothing in this Act that renders the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

 

 

Part 2—National Animal Welfare Authority

 

Clause 8: National Animal Welfare Authority

This clause refers to the establishment of the National Animal Welfare Authority; it is the regulatory body for animal welfare in Australia.

 

Clause 9: Legal status of the Authority

Clause 9 identifies the Authority as a body corporate, it has a seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name. All courts, judges and people acting judicially must take judicial notice of the imprint of the seal of the Authority appearing on a document, and are to presume that the document was duly sealed. 

 

Clause 10: Constitution of the Authority 

 This clause identifies the composition of the Authority: 

 

·          3 members representing the Commonwealth; and

·          2 members representing commercial producers or users of animals and animal products; and

·          2 members representing animal welfare NGOs; and 

·          2 members representing community groups; and 

·          4 other members, at least 2 of whom are scientists; and 

·          1 member who is an ethicist 

 

The members are to be appointed by the Minister. The Chairperson of the authority is to be elected by the members of the authority. This position is not to be held for more than 12 months by the same person in any 2-year period. 

 
Clause 11:  Terms and conditions of appointment

This clause describes the appointment of members, which will be for a period (not longer than 3 years) as specified in the instrument of appointment—members are eligible for reappointment. A member holds office on the terms and conditions (if any) in relation to matters not covered by this Act as are determined by the Minister.

Clause 12:  Advisory committees 

This clause provides for the Authority to establish national advisory committees as determined by the Authority, or at the request of the Minister or the Ministerial Council.

 

Clause 13:  Functions and powers of Authority 

Clause 13 describes the Authority having the following functions and powers: 

 

·          the coordination, monitoring and review of Commonwealth responsibilities for animal welfare; 

·          functions and powers conferred on it by or under this Act (other than this section); 

·          functions and powers conferred on it by or under other laws of the Commonwealth; 

·          functions and powers that are, with the consent of the Ministerial Council, conferred on the Authority by writing signed by the Minister. 

 

The Authority has power to do whatever is necessary for or in connection with, or reasonably incidental to, the performance of its functions. The Authority is required to perform its functions and exercise its powers in accordance with the Agreement (so far as applicable) and is to comply in all respects with the provisions of the Agreement that are applicable to it. 

 
Clause 14: Reports and advice to be provided to the Ministerial Council

This clause explains that the Authority is to provide to the Ministerial Council such reports relating to the performance or exercise of the Authority’s functions or powers as the Ministerial Council directs. 

And that the Ministerial Council may, by resolution, direct the Authority to provide advice about any matter related to the functions or powers of the Authority or of the Ministerial Council. 

 

 

Part 3—Inspection

 

Division 1—General

 

Clauses 15: Appointment of Inspectors

Under clause 15 the Authority may appoint national inspectors; an inspector is responsible for matters specified by the Authority.

 

The Chairperson of the Authority is responsible for the issuing of identity cards containing a recent photograph of the inspector and identifying the holder of the card as an inspector for the purposes of this Act.

 

Clause 16: Qualifications of Inspectors

This clause sets out the minimum requirements for the appointment of Inspectors. National Inspectors are required to have a sound knowledge of animal husbandry and animal welfare. Minimum academic requirement is the completion of a prescribed course of training in animal welfare or an equivalent course of study.

 

There is a necessity for the Inspectors to have a thorough knowledge of the operation of this Act and the regulations, and the codes of practice approved by the Minister under this Act. And Inspectors can only be appointed to such positions if the individual is a public service officer or employee, or employed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or included in a class of individuals declared under a regulation to be an approved class of person for this section.

 

 

Clause 17: Powers of Inspectors—General powers

Under this clause the appointed Inspectors may exercise any of the following powers in order to fulfil the objects of this Act.

 

Inspectors have the power to undertake random inspections of animals. And a person with an animal in their care must permit inspection of the animal as well as of the housing, foodstuffs and equipment intended for use with the animal.

 

It is essential for inspection advice to be submitted to the animal keeper on or before the commencement of the inspection.

 

Inspectors may inform an animal keeper that he or she has 12 hours in which to take action or their animal(s) will be seized, or immediately seize animals, or that the animal will be humanely killed, or take any other necessary steps to relieve an animal from suffering, including the administering of analgesics to the animal(s) when such intervention is required.

 

 

Division 2—Entry to places other than vehicles

 

Subdivision 1—Power to enter places other than vehicles

Clauses 18: Power of entry

Serious animal welfare problems can develop when animals are used for commercial purposes because many such uses take place on private property and away from scrutiny. To protect the welfare of animals used for such purposes, inspectors are provided with the powers of entry that are essential if the Bill is to meet its stated purpose of protecting animals from unjust, unnecessary or unreasonable pain and to gather evidence of animal welfare offences that would otherwise be hidden or destroyed. Inspectors are permitted to enter without warrant in the following limited circumstances:

 

·          to ensure compliance with an animal welfare direction;

·          where an animal has sustained a severe injury that would otherwise remain untreated for an unreasonable period of time;

·          where there is imminent risk of death or injury to an animal because of an accident or animal welfare offence; and

·          where any delay in entering will result in the concealment or destruction of evidence or the death of an animal that is being used in an offence.

 

Clause 18 also provides power to enter the non-residential parts of a place where an animal is suffering because of lack of food or water, or because the animal is entangled and the person in charge of the animal does not appear to be at the place. Entry is only permitted in these circumstances for the duration of providing relief to the animal and the issuing of a notice advising the occupier of the entry and providing the inspector’s contact details.

 

It is considered that the need to assist animals that have been severely injured, to protect animals from death or injury and to seize evidence where it would be otherwise destroyed or concealed is sufficient and appropriate justification to override the fundamental legislative principle that power to enter premises should be conferred only with a warrant issued by a judicial officer.

 

 

 

Clause 19: Limited entry to provide relief to an animal

Inspectors are provided with limited powers under clause 19 so as to provide relief to an animal at a place (other than a vehicle or part of the place at which a person resides or apparently resides.) The inspector can enter if they reasonably suspect that the animal is suffering from lack of food or water or is entangled.

 

In these circumstances, the inspector may enter and stay at the place only for the period of time necessary to provide food or water, or disentangle the animal. This clause is designed to address situations where a neighbour reports a dog is tied up in a backyard without food or water, and it is obvious that the owners have gone away for a number of days.

 

Where the inspector exercises this power, they must leave a notice identifying the inspector, the action taken and when the action was taken before leaving the place. This information will enable the person in charge of the animal to take action if the person considers that the action taken by the inspector was unreasonable.

 

 

Subdivision 2—Procedure for entry without warrant

Clause 20: Procedure for entry with consent

This clause outlines the procedures an inspector must follow when seeking consent to enter a place.

 

 

Clause 21: Procedure for other entries without warrant

This section applies if the inspector is intending to enter a place other than with consent of its occupier, where it is a public place or with a warrant. In those circumstances the inspector must, if the occupier is present, before entering, making a reasonable attempt to:

 

·          display the inspector’s card;

·          tell the person of the entry; and

·          tell the person the inspector is permitted to enter the place without the person’s consent or a warrant.

 

 

Subdivision 3—Warrants

Clause 22: Application for warrant

This clause makes provision for an inspector to apply to a magistrate or a justice of the peace (qualified) for a warrant to enter a place. Under this provision, a magistrate or a justice of the peace (qualified) may refuse to consider an application until an inspector provides them with the information he or she requires. The application cannot be made to a magistrate or a justice of the peace (qualified) who is employed by the same department or a person that employs the inspector.

 

Clause 23: Issue of warrant

This provision sets out the conditions under which the magistrate or a justice of the peace (qualified) may issue a warrant and specifies the information that must be stated in the warrant.

 

Claude 24: Special warrants

The special warrant clause makes provision for and outlines the procedures by which an inspector can apply for a warrant by telephone, facsimile, radio or another means of communication because of urgent or special circumstances.

Clause 25: Warrants—procedure for entry

This outlines the procedures that an inspector must follow or attempt to follow prior to entering a place under a warrant. However, the procedures need not be complied with if immediate entry is required to ensure the effective execution of the warrant is not frustrated.

 

 

Division 3—Entry to vehicles

Subdivision 1—Power to enter vehicles

 

Clause 26: Power of entry

Provision has been made for the entry to vehicles. Transportation of animals is an area where there are many animal welfare problems and concerns, such as overcrowding and excessive distances without sufficient water, food or rest. This clause provides inspectors with appropriate powers to address these issues.

 

The clause empowers an inspector to enter a vehicle:

 

·          with the consent of the person in charge of the vehicle; or

·          if the person in control of the vehicle has been given an animal welfare direction and the entry is made at a time stated in the direction to check compliance with the direction.

 

An inspector may also enter a vehicle if the inspector reasonably suspects the vehicle is being or has been used in the commission of an animal welfare offence or contains evidence of an offence.

 

Finally, an inspector may enter the vehicle if the inspector reasonably suspects that there is an imminent risk of death of or injury to an animal in the vehicle (such as a dog locked in a car suffering heat exhaustion) or it is necessary to relieve an animal of pain or prevent an animal suffering pain in a vehicle.

 

Clause 27: Procedure for entry without consent if person in control or occupier present

This clause applies where an inspector is intending to enter a vehicle under clause 26 other than with the consent of the person in control of the vehicle. Before entering, the inspector must, if the person in charge of the vehicle or the occupier of the vehicle is present, make a reasonable attempt to:

 

·          display the inspector’s identity card;

·          tell the person the purpose of the entry;

·          seek the consent of the person to the entry; and

·          tell the person the inspector is permitted to enter the place without the person’s consent.

 

If the person in control of the vehicle is not present at the vehicle, the inspector must take reasonable steps to advise the person or any registered operator of the vehicle of the inspector’s intention to enter.

 

The inspector is not required to take any of the above steps if the inspector reasonably believes it may frustrate or otherwise hinder an investigation under the Act or the purpose of the intended entry.

 

 

Subdivision 2—Powers to support entry

Clause 28: Power to stop vehicle that may be entered

This clause provides an inspector with the power to stop a moving vehicle or to prevent a vehicle from moving that the inspector intends to enter.

 

Clause 29: Failure to comply with stop signal

Failure to comply with a stop signal given by an inspector will be seen as an offence under clause 29. It will not be an offence if the person had a reasonable excuse such as that immediately obeying would have endangered the person or someone else and the signal was complied as soon as practicable. Maximum penalty is 100 penalty units ($11,000 at current rates).

 

Clause 30: Power to require help to enter from person in charge

This clause empowers an inspector, where the inspector may enter a vehicle under this Part, to require the person in control of the vehicle to give the inspector reasonable help to enter the vehicle (an entry requirement). For example, where a vehicle is locked and the person in control of the vehicle has the keys, the inspector may require the person to unlock the vehicle.

 

When making an entry requirement the inspector must warn the person in charge of the vehicle that it is an offence not to comply.

 

Clause 31: Failure to comply with entry requirement

Failure to comply with an entry requirement given by an inspector will be seen as an offence under clause 31, unless the person has an appropriate and reasonable excuse.

 

 

Division 4—Powers for entry to all places

 

Clause 32: Application of Division

This Division applies where an inspector may enter or has entered a place under the Part (Powers of Inspector) other than under the limited entry power to provide relief to an animal (clause 19). If the inspector enters a place to get the occupier’s consent to enter the premises (clause 21), this Division will only apply to the inspector if the consent is given or the entry otherwise authorised.

 

Clause 33: General powers

Clause 33 specifies the powers available to an inspector who has entered a place for the purposes enforcing compliance with the legislation. The inspector may:

 

·          enter the place using reasonable force;

·          search any part of the place;

·          open, using reasonable force, any container or any cage, pen, yard or other structure confining an animal so as to examine the animal, structure or other thing;

·          take a reasonable measures to relieve an animal’s pain (for example, feed, water or untether an animal);

·          inspect, examine, photograph or film an animal, document or any other thing at the place;

·          make copies of a document at the place;

·          take into or onto the place any persons, equipment or materials the inspector reasonably requires for exercising any powers in relation to the place;

·          take samples for testing (for example, to obtain evidence of dehydration or poor food quality);

·          identify an animal, for example, by ear tagging or paint branding (this may be necessary to indicate which animals require treatment or are to be seized); and

·          take any other necessary step to exercise a power under the clause, such as mustering, unloading or yarding cattle to allow them to be examined.

 

Clause 34: Power to require reasonable help

An inspector may require reasonable help from a person at the place being entered into by the inspector, such as requiring the production of a document or the provision of information under clause 34.

 

When making a help requirement the inspector is under a duty to warn the person that it is an offence not to comply with the requirement without a reasonable excuse.

 

Clause 35: Failure to comply with help requirement

It is an offence under clause 35 not to comply with a help requirement given by an inspector under clause 34 unless the person has an appropriate and reasonable excuse. The clause provides that it will be a reasonable excuse for a person not complying with a help requirement if complying might tend to incriminate the person. However, this does not apply if the requirement is to produce a document required to be kept under the Act or another Act where the document relates to the transportation of animals. An example of this type of document is a vehicle logbook required to be kept under transport legislation. The logbook may provide details of the animals being transported (such as, where the animals were loaded and the period they have been travelling) which is important to an inspector’s investigation.

 

Clause 36: Power to require a person in control of a vehicle to take action

This clause gives an inspector, in order for the inspector to exercise a power under this Act, the power to require a person in charge of a vehicle to:

 

·          bring the vehicle, or an animal or thing in it, to a stated place (for example, a cattle truck driver may be required to bring the truck to unloading facilities); or

·          remain in control of the vehicle, animal or other thing at the place for a reasonable period.

 

This power is called an ‘action requirement’. The power is needed to allow an inspector to properly examine animals that are being transported. When making the action requirement the inspector must give the person an offence warning.

 

Clause 37: Failure to comply with action requirement

It is an offence under clause 37 not to comply with an ‘action requirement’ ordered by an inspector under clause 36, unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

 

Clause 38: Compliance

 

This clause states that the provisions of the Act must be complied with and sets out the consequences of failure to comply.

 

 

Division 5—Seizure and forfeiture

 

Subdivision 1—Powers of seizure

 

Clause 39: General power to seize evidence

An inspector who enters a place under this part may seize an animal or thing at the place:

·          if the inspector reasonably suspects the thing is evidence of an offence against the Act;

·          if the inspector reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent it being hidden, lost or destroyed, or used to commit, continue or repeat the offence;

·          which the inspector reasonably believes has just been used in committing an offence against the Act; or

·          with the written consent of a person the inspector reasonably believes is the person in charge of an animal or the owner or person in possession of the thing. In this case, the owner may also consent to transfer ownership of the animal or thing to the state or a prescribed entity.

 

If the entry to the place by the inspector was by consent of a person, the inspector may seize a thing at the place only if the seizure is consistent with the purpose of entry as told to the person.

 

The intent of the clause is to limit seizure to only those circumstances where it is regarded as necessary.

 

Clause 40: Seizure of evidence under warrant

An inspector who enters a place under a warrant may seize the evidence for which the warrant was issued.

 

Clause 41: Seizure for welfare of the animal

This clause enables an inspector who has entered a place under this part to seize an animal in order to protect its welfare. Seizure can be made when the inspector reasonably believes that the animal is under imminent risk of death or injury, requires veterinary treatment or is experiencing undue pain and the welfare of the animal requires its immediate seizure.

 

This power can be used in circumstances, such as where a prohibited event like a dogfight, is taking place or where an animal is being beaten or tortured. Other circumstances where this power may be required include where an animal’s owners are absent and cannot be contacted to arrange urgent veterinarian treatment or the animal’s owners are refusing to provide urgently required treatment.

 

An inspector may also seize an animal if the person in charge of it has contravened or is contravening an animal welfare direction or court order about the animal.

 

Clause 42: Seizure of property subject to security

An inspector under clause 42 may seize an animal or thing under this subdivision or exercise powers in relation to it despite the fact that another person has a lien or security over it. The seizure does not, however, affect the person’s lien or security against a person other than the inspector or a person acting for the inspector.

 

 

Subdivision 2—Powers to support seizure

 

Clause 43: Direction to person in charge

This clause provides an inspector with power to give a direction to the person in charge or owner or person in possession of an animal or thing to be seized (a “seizure direction”). The direction can be to take the animal or thing to a reasonable place or places or, if necessary, to remain in control of it at the stated place for a reasonable time. For example, the direction may require animals that were being transported, to be taken to a secure pound-yard to enable treatment to be provided during the seizure.

 

The direction must be in the approved form or, if that is not practicable, a notice in the approved form must be given as soon as practicable.

 

 

Clause 44: Failure to comply with seizure direction

It is an offence under clause 44 not to comply with a seizure direction given by an inspector under clause 43.

 

Clause 45: Powers for seized things

Clause 45 details the powers available to inspectors for seized animals or things. The inspector may:

 

·          move it or take an animal to a place the inspector believes is appropriate;

·          leave it at place of seizure but restrict access to it by, for example, branding, marking sealing or tagging it or sealing the entrance to a room where the thing is stored to show access to it is restricted;

·          make equipment inoperable;

·          arrange for veterinary treatment or examination if the inspector reasonably believes that the animal requires treatment;

·          take other reasonable measures to alleviate the animal’s suffering (for example, provide food and drink);

·          take action to ensure that any previously given animal welfare direction is complied with (for example, where a direction to provide adequate feed to drought affected stock was not complied with, the inspector may organise a contractor to supply and feed the stock at the place they are held during seizure).

 

Clause 46: Offence to tamper with seized thing

This clause provides that it is an offence for any person, other than an inspector or a person authorised by an inspector, to do or attempt to do, in relation to an animal or seized thing under this part:

 

·          tamper with it or something done to restrict access to it;

·          enter, or be at, the place where it is being kept;

·          move it from the place where it is being kept;

·          have the animal or other thing in the person’s possession.

 

 

Subdivision 3—Safeguards for seized animal or property

 

Clause 47: Information notice and receipt for seized animal or property

Under clause 47 an inspector is required to issue a receipt and an information notice for any seized thing and give the receipt and information notice to the person from whom it was seized. However, the clause does not apply if:

 

·          the seizure was by written consent;

·          the inspector reasonably believes no one is in possession of the thing;

·          the thing has been abandoned; or

·          the seized thing is not an animal and it would be impractical or unreasonable to expect the inspector to account for it given its nature, condition and value. This would apply to, for example, animal droppings collected for evidence.

 

The receipt must generally describe each thing seized and its condition. If the person is not present, the inspector must leave the receipt and information notice at the place of seizure in a conspicuous position and in a secure way.

The inspector may delay giving the receipt and information notice for as long as the inspector has reasonable suspicion that to do otherwise may frustrate or hinder an investigation.

 

Clause 48: Access to seized animal or property

This clause requires an inspector who has seized anything to allow the owner of the thing access to inspect it at any reasonable time or, if it is a document, to copy it. The section does not apply when it would be unreasonable to allow these rights to the owner. The inspection or copying must be provided free of charge.

 

Clause 49: Return of seized animal

Under this clause the inspector is required to return an animal seized under this part within 28 days unless:

 

·          the animal’s owner has agreed in writing to transfer ownership to the State or a prescribed entity such as the RSPCA;

·          the animal has been forfeited to the State under this part;

·          an application has been made for a disposal or prohibition order in relation to the animal;

·          the inspector needs to retain the animal for evidence in proceedings for an offence involving the animal (for example, for the purposes of assessment);

·          an animal welfare direction in regard to the animal has not been complied with and the inspector is taking or proposes to take action to ensure compliance; or

·          the inspector reasonably believes that the animal’s condition may require its destruction under clause 59.

 

The intention of this clause is to avoid the prolonged seizure of animals and the resultant costs to parties without compromising the welfare of the animals. For more marginal welfare situations, the Bill provides alternative means to seizure of addressing welfare needs through the issuing of animal welfare directions.

 

Clause 50: Return of other seized property

This clause provides for the return by an inspector of a seized thing with some intrinsic value other than where the owner has not agreed to transfer ownership to the state or a prescribed entity or it has been forfeited.

 

Under the clause, the inspector must, unless an application has been made for a disposal order:

 

·          return the thing at the end of six months after seizure; or

·          if a proceeding has been commenced within six months of seizure, at the end of the proceedings and any appeal from the proceeding; or

·          return the item as soon as the inspector is satisfied the thing is no longer required as evidence or to prevent the thing being used to continue or repeat the offence.

 

 

 

 

 

Subdivision 4—Forfeiture

 

Clause 51: Power to forfeit

This clause sets out the circumstances under which a seized animal or other thing will be forfeited to the state, for example:

 

·          if the owner cannot be found, after making reasonable inquiries;

·          it cannot be returned to its owner after making reasonable efforts; or

·          it is necessary to prevent it from being used in committing, or becoming the subject of, an animal welfare offence.

 

The clause applies to animals or things seized under this Bill. The intention is to establish a means of providing for the safety of animals in more serious circumstances where it is clearly not possible or not feasible to return the animal to their owner. Forfeiture is designed to also avoid substantial costs that may occur for both the owner and the enforcement agency of holding seized animals.

 

Clause 52: Information notice about forfeiture

This clause provides that if the chief executive decides to forfeit an animal or other thing, the chief executive must promptly give its owner an information notice. The information notice will advise the owner of the animal or other thing that he or she may apply for a stay of the decision if he or she appeals the decision. The requirement to supply an information notice does not apply where it relates to an animal seized in a public place or other place where it is unlikely to be read by the person who owned the animal before forfeiture (for example, where an animal seized has roamed from an unknown place into a person’s yard).

 

 

Subdivision 5—Dealing with property forfeited or transferred to Commonwealth or

prescribed entity

 

Clause 53: When transfer takes effect

Under this clause there is provision for an animal or a thing to become Commonwealth property when it is forfeited to the Commonwealth or when the owner agrees in writing to transfer ownership to the Commonwealth or a prescribed entity and the Commonwealth or entity agrees to the transfer.

 

Clause 54: How property may be dealt with

This clause details how an animal or other thing may be dealt with if it becomes the property of the Commonwealth under clause 53. The clause provides that the Commonwealth may deal with the property as it sees fit including destroying it or giving it away provided that the property is not dealt with in a way that could prejudice the outcome of an appeal. If the property is sold, the proceeds of the sale may be returned to the former owner after deducting net proceeds of sale and allowing for any costs recovered.

 

Clause 55: Appeal against forfeiture

There is provision in this part for the owner of the animal or the thing that has been forfeited to appeal to the Chairperson of the National Animal Welfare Authority against that forfeiture. The appeal must be in writing and must specify the grounds on which the appeal is made.

 

 

 

Clause 56: Where a person makes an appeal in accordance with section 55

This clause allows the Chairperson of the Authority to consider expeditiously an appeal—either to overturn the forfeiture or confirm the forfeiture. The person to be notified will receive the decision in writing together with a statement of reasons.

 

Division 6—Animal welfare directions

 

Clause 57: Application of Division

Clause 57 covers the application of animal welfare directions. Under this part an inspector has the power to give directions about an animal’s welfare to a person in charge of an animal.

 

The ability of inspectors to give directions is a way to simplify enforcement of the legislation. It is a means of achieving the best outcomes in many animal welfare situations for the animals, their owners and the enforcement agency. Although animal welfare directions can be used in conjunction with seizure powers, they provide a way of avoiding taking an animal from their owner in the appropriate situations. Animal welfare directions also have educational value by indicating to persons in charge of animals what they should be doing for the animal’s welfare.

 

The part applies, and therefore directions may be given where the inspector believes on reasonable grounds that the animal:

 

·          is not being cared for properly;

·          is experiencing undue pain;

·          requires veterinary treatment; or

·          should not be used for work (for example, a horse with saddle sore should not be used by a riding school);

·          is seized under this Bill.

 

This is designed to cover situations such as where an animal is not being provided with suitable feed or water, lives in unsanitary conditions or is suffering from an untreated injury or illness.

 

Directions can be given in any circumstances and not just where an inspector has exercised powers of entry into places or vehicles. For example, an inspector can give written directions on public roads or an authorised officer can give a direction when exercising monitoring powers.

 

Clause 58: Power to give animal welfare direction

This clause sets out who may be given an animal welfare direction and what action may be required under an animal welfare direction. A direction may be given to a person in charge of an animal, a person who an inspector reasonably believes is in charge of an animal or was in charge immediately before the animal was seized.

 

The steps the person in charge of the animal may be required to do to rectify the problem include to:

 

·          care for or treat the animal in the way specified in the direction;

·          provide the animal with the rest, food, drink or living conditions specified in the direction; or

·          consult a veterinary surgeon about the animal’s condition;

·          move the animal from the place where it is situated to another place for the purposes mentioned above; or

·          not move the animal from the place where it is situated.

 

Only requirements the inspector considers necessary and reasonable in the interests of the animal’s welfare may be specified in the direction.

 

Clause 59: Requirements for giving animal welfare direction

This clause prescribes the requirements for giving animal welfare directions. Directions must always be provided in writing (in an approved form) unless this is not possible for some good reason in which case an oral direction may be provided. Written confirmation of any oral direction must be provided within a reasonable period of time.

 

The direction may include a stated time or times the inspector will reenter a place to check compliance with the direction.

Clause 60: Failure to comply with animal welfare direction

Failure to comply with a direction will be an offence unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

 

 

Division 7—Inspector’s power to destroy animals

 

Clause 61: Power of destruction

This clause gives inspectors the power to destroy animals. It is recognised that the destruction of a person’s animal seriously impacts on that person’s rights. Therefore, an inspector is given the power to destroy an animal only where:

 

·          an inspector has seized the animal under this part or the person in charge has given written consent to the destruction; and

·          the inspector reasonably believes that the animal is suffering to such an extent that it would be cruel to keep the animal alive.

 

Clause 62: Other duties

Under this clause an inspector is required to maintain an inventory of all animals for which he/she has responsibility, keep a record of activities, and regularly submit an animal report to the National Animal Welfare Authority.

 

 

Part 4—Animal welfare offences

 

Division 1—Breach of duty of care

 

Clause 63: Breach of duty of care prohibited

This clause provides that a person in charge of an animal owes a duty of care to it and must not breach that duty—a breach of the duty will amount to an offence. A person would breach the duty if the person failed to take reasonable steps to provide the animal with food and water, suitable accommodation, and treatment for disease or injury, or the person failed in the appropriate handling of the animal.

 

To further ensure that legitimate and acceptable animal use is not restricted or that unnecessarily harsh consequences arise from the imposition of the duty of care, regard must be had to the animal species, environment and circumstances of the animal. This will determine what reasonable steps a person in charge of animal should take to comply with their duty of care obligation.

 

Division 2—Cruelty offences

 

Clause 64: Animal cruelty prohibited

Provision is made under this clause for an offence of cruelty towards an animal. The clause details what type of conduct is regarded as cruelty for the purposes of the offence without limiting what may amount to cruelty towards an animal. It is not possible to exhaustively define the notion of cruelty. What amounts to cruelty will often depend on the individual circumstances of the animal in question and what the community perceives as ‘cruel’.

 

Clause 65: Alleviation of pain

Under this clause provision is made for a person who injures an animal (specifically those not in charge of the injured animal) must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to take reasonable steps (including, where appropriate, seeking veterinary treatment) to alleviate any pain suffered by the animal. And a person in charge of animal must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to take adequate precautions to prevent the escape of the animal from custody or control.

 

 

Division 3—Prohibited conduct

 

Clause 66: Unreasonable abandonment

This clause provides that it is an offence for a person to abandon an animal without reasonable excuse or is authorised by law to do so. This provision, in part, is designed to ensure that persons do not simply abandon an animal that they have responsibility for without making appropriate arrangements for the animal’s care.

 

Clause 67: Prohibited release

Clause 67 defines what is meant by ‘intentional release’ and ‘unintentional release’.

 

A person in charge of an animal must not intentionally or unintentionally release an animal unless the person has a reasonable excuse or the release is authorised by law.

 

Clause 68: Causing captive animal to be injured or killed by dog

This clause makes it an offence for a person to knowingly cause an animal in captivity to be injured or killed by a dog.

 

Clause 69: Releasing animal for injury or killing by dog

Under this clause it is an offence to release an animal for injury or killing by a dog. The clause also makes it an offence, in circumstances where it is likely that an animal released will be injured or killed by a dog, not to take reasonable steps to prevent the killing or injury.

 

Clause 70: Keeping or using as kill or lure for blooding or coursing

This clause makes it an offence for a person to keep or use an animal as a lure or kill for blooding a dog or to race or train a coursing dog (a dog that is used to chase or hunt another animal).

 

Clause 71: Possession of prohibited trap or spur unlawful

It is an offence under clause 71 to possess a prohibited trap or spur. There are many traps regarded by the community as inhumane as they cause considerable and unnecessary suffering to animals.

 

 

A prohibited trap or spur includes:

 

·          a trap which is prescribed by regulation to be prohibited;

·          a spur with sharpened or fixed rowels;

·          a cockfighting spur cap.

 

It will not be an offence for a person to possess any of the above where they have a reasonable excuse, for example, the items are for a display or part of a collection and have been rendered inoperable.

 

Clause 72: Use of prohibited trap or spur unlawful

Under this clause it is an offence for a person to use a prohibited trap or spur.

 

Clause 73: Baits and harmful substances

Clause 73 prohibits a person from administering a poisonous substance to an animal with the intention of injuring or killing it.

 

Only those in possession of a permit, or those who have been assessed, or who are under assessment under the EPBC by PER or EIA—and it is apparent that there are no impacts caused on threatened species, migratory birds, or any matters of NES—and that the baits laced by hand are laid by approved officers.

 

All baits are to be recorded and a register kept of all laid and recovered baits. Auditing must include estimated numbers of target species and deaths, and an estimate of non-target species mortality.

 

The clause also makes it an offence for a person to lay (deposit, distribute, leave or throw) a bait or poison with the intention of injuring or killing an animal.

 

Clause 74: Unlawfully allowing an animal to injure or kill another animal

It is an offence under clause 74 to unlawfully allow an animal (the “first animal”) to injure or kill another animal (the “second animal”). The offence will occur when a person:

 

·          has the first animal under the person’s immediate supervision, (for example, when a person is in the person’s home and knows the first animal, a dog is in the backyard);

·          was aware of the second animal’s presence (for example, the person sees a koala enter the backyard);

·          ought reasonably to have suspected that the second animal was immediately vulnerable (for example, the koala is in the backyard on the ground);

·          the second animal is likely to be injured or killed by the first animal (for example, the koala is likely to be injured by the dog); and

·          does not take reasonable steps to prevent the injury or killing (for example, by putting the dog on a lead).

 

Clause 75: Cropping of dogs’ ears

This clause makes it an offence for a person to crop a dog’s ears unless the person is a veterinary surgeon who considers the cropping to be necessary in the interests of the dog’s welfare.

 

 

 

Clause 76: Docking dogs’ tails

Under clause 76 it is an offence for a person (other than a veterinary surgeon) to dock a dog’s tail, and docking when performed must be undertaken by a veterinary surgeon, and it can only be done so if the surgeon considers it to be in the interests of the dog’s welfare.

 

Clause 77: Debarking operations

It is an offence under clause 77 for a person to perform a debarking operation on a dog unless the person is a veterinary surgeon who:

 

·          considers the operation to be necessary in the interests of the dog’s welfare; or

·          has been given a relevant nuisance abatement notice and considers the operation the only way to comply with the notice without destroying the dog; or

·          has been given an appropriate notice and the surgeon reasonably considers the only way to stop the dog’s barking from being a nuisance without destroying the dog, is to perform the operation.

 

Clause 78: Removal of cats’ claws

Under clause 78 it is an offence for a person to remove a cat’s claw unless the person is a veterinary surgeon who considers the removal to be necessary in the interests of the cat’s welfare, or in the interests of native wildlife.

 

Clause 79: Docking tails of cattle or horses

This clause makes it an offence for a person to dock the tail of cattle or a horse unless the person is a veterinary surgeon who considers the cropping to be necessary in the interests of the cattle or horse’s welfare.

 

Clause 80: Use for certain scientific purposes unlawful

It is an offence under clause 80 for a person, without the written approval of the Authority, to conduct the test commonly known as the Draize eye or skin irritancy test, or a similar test, or conduct the test commonly known as the classical LD 50 test, or a similar test, or use an animal for a scientific purpose if the use involves a cosmetic, or a sunscreen product, or an ingredient of a cosmetic or sunscreen product.

 

 

Division 4—Prohibited events

 

Clause 81:  Meaning of prohibited event

This clause defines the meaning of “prohibited event”. Prohibited events are events the community generally regards as totally unacceptable because the events involve deliberate infliction of pain and suffering on an animal and may result in the animal's death. Prohibited events include:

 

·          a bullfight or organised event held for public entertainment in which a person provokes a bull in a way that is likely to cause it to charge;  

·          a cockfight or dogfight or other event in which an animal fights, or is encouraged to fight, with another animal;

·          a canned hunt or other event in which an animal is killed in an enclosure to obtain a trophy; 

·          coursing or another event in which an animal is released from captivity to be hunted, injured or killed by another animal;

·          an event in which an animal is released from captivity to be hunted, or shot at by a person;  

·          an event prescribed under a regulation held for public enjoyment or entertainment, with or without charge to anyone present, at which anyone participating in the event causes an animal pain.

 

Clause 82: Participation in prohibited event

This clause prohibits a person from participation in a prohibited event. A person participates in a prohibited event where the person organises, takes part in the organisation of, permits to be organised, supplies animals to be used in or provides the place for the prohibited event.

 

Clause 83: Presence at prohibited event

It is an offence under clause 83 for a person to be present at a prohibited event unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

 

 

Division 5—Regulated conduct

 

Clause 84: Obligation to exercise closely confined dogs

This clause makes it an offence to fail to exercise or cause to be exercised a closely confined dog during every 24 hour period either for a continuous period of at least 2 hours or for 2 separate periods of at least 1 hour each. In deciding whether a dog is closely confined, regard must be had to the dog’s age, physical condition and size as these factors determine the exercise needs of the individual dog.

 

Clause 85: Feral animals or pests

Provision exists under clause 85 for an offence exemption in respect of feral animals or pests. This clause has the effect of permitting a person to do acts for the purposes of controlling pests or feral animals provided the act:

 

·          causes the animal as little pain as is reasonable;

·          satisfies any conditions prescribed by regulation;

·          does not involve the use of a prohibited trap or spur; and

·          does not damage or cause damage to eco-systems and causes no harm or damage to non-target species.

 

Clause 86: Animals used to feed another animal

Under clause 86 an offence exemption exists where the act that constitutes an offence involves using an animal as live food for another animal. The offence exemption will apply where the person lawfully keeps both animals and the fed animal will only eat the food animal if it is alive and is essential for the fed animal’s survival. This section would apply, for example, to certain species of raptor that will only eat live food.

 

 

Part 5—Live Exports

 

Clause 87:  Limitation on live exports 
Under clause 87 a person must not transport a live animal for commercial purposes from Australia without a permit issued by the National Animal Welfare Authority.  This section has no effect on the export provisions of the EPBC Wildlife Act. 
 

 

 

Clause 88: Export permits 

Clause 88 details that a person must apply to the Authority for a permit to transport live animals for commercial purposes from Australia, and that an application must be made at least 30 days before the proposed transportation.

 

A permit will only be granted if the Authority is satisfied that:

 

·          the applicant will comply with the provisions of this section and with any code of practice for exporting live animals approved by the Minister under the Regulations; and

·          the applicant will make all facilities to be used in the transportation, including waiting areas to be used before and after the transportation, available for inspection by an inspector; and

·          an inspector will be able to inspect the facilities at the port of destination and if the animals are exported for slaughter outside Australia  the abattoirs to be used for the slaughter of the animals; and 

·          the applicant will employ, for the purpose of the transportation, the number of veterinary surgeons and competent stockpersons decided by the Authority; and

·          the applicant will allow an inspector to be present at the loading and unloading of the animals; and

·          the applicant will, if the Authority directs, allow an inspector to accompany the transportation.

 

Export permits will not be granted to an applicant unless the Authority is satisfied that the laws and codes of practice relating to animal welfare that operate in the country to which the animals are to be exported provide comparable animal welfare standards and protection to the laws of Australia. 

 

An Inspector may detain a vessel until all the requirements for transportation are fulfilled. 

 

Live export permits can be withdrawn by the Authority, providing a written notice to the holder, if an animal keeper fails to implement the provisions of this Act or to comply with any approved code of practice for exporting live animals. 

 

If, after granting a permit and before the transportation to which it relates, the Authority ceases to be satisfied of any of the matters specified, the Authority may, by written notice given to the applicant, withdraw the permit. 

 
Clause 89: Duties of veterinary surgeons 

Provision is made under clause 90 for a veterinary surgeon accompanying a transportation of animals to keep records as prescribed as to the welfare and comfort of the animals during the transportation—these reports are to be submitted to the Authority within 2 weeks of returning to Australia. 

 

The veterinarian report must include records of animal deaths and their physical condition during the transportation. 

 

Clause 90: Liability 

Under this clause the welfare of the animals remains with the seller of the animals unless legally passed on to an agent. Transfer of liability must be in writing and signed by both the seller and the agent. Liability will remain with the seller or his or her agent during the entire act of transportation and up until the time of delivery. 

 

A person identified as liable may show that another person is liable for a particular act during transportation should it result in the suffering or death of an animal. If liability cannot be clearly placed with a particular person, the liability must be jointly held by those persons against whom it can be reasonably assumed that such a liability may lie. 

  

 

Part 6—Imports of animal products

 

Clause 91: Limitation on import of animal products   

This clause indicates that a person must not import animal products without a permit issued by the Authority—it has no effect on import provisions of the EPBC Wildlife Act.

 

Clause 92: Import permits   

Clause 92 identifies that a person must apply to the Authority for a permit to import animal products, and that the application must be made at least 30 days before the proposed importation.

 

The Authority will not issue an import permit to an applicant unless the Authority is satisfied that the laws and codes of practice relating to animal welfare that operate in the country of origin of the animal products to be imported provide comparable animal welfare standards and protection to the laws of Australia. 

 

 

Part 7—Labelling of animal products 

 
Clause 93:  Authority to develop draft code of practice 

This clause details that not less than 3 years after the commencement of this Act, the Authority must prepare and give to the Minister for approval a draft code of practice in relation to the labelling of animal products.  The Authority will consult with the community by inviting and considering written submissions from members of the public, and by convening public meetings in each state and internal territory on this issue. 

 

Regulated labelling of animal products establishes a system of labelling that provides consumers with information about the methods used to produce animal products where those methods may influence consumer choice because of their impact on: 

 

·          animal welfare; or 

·          the health, safety, ethical or moral concerns or religious beliefs of consumers. 

 

The draft code of practice will apply to both imported and domestic products. 

 

 

Part 8—Animals used for experimental purposes

 

Clause 94: Definitions

   

In this Part:

animal means an invertebrate or vertebrate animal other than a human being. 

approved research is research approved under this Act.

pain refers to both psychological and physical pain and, in an animal, is taken to be the same sensation that an average, well human, having suffered the same trauma, would experience. 

research means a critical or scientific inquiry, study, investigation or experimental test, including a procedure involving interference with an animal’s condition of well-being, where pain or distress is likely to occur. 

research unit means premises on which animals are used in research and includes premises used for collecting, assembling, breeding, rearing or maintaining animals in connection with a research unit.  research unit operator means the person responsible for a research unit. 

research worker means a person actively involved in research.

supply unit means premises other than a research unit that are used for the maintaining, breeding and rearing of animals and the collecting and assembling of such pursuant to a contract between the operator of the supply unit and the operator of a research unit. 

supply unit operator means the person responsible for a supply unit.  

 

Clause 95—Offence to operate research unit or supply unit without a licence

This clause defines that a person must not operate a research unit or a supply unit without a licence under this Part. 

 

Clause 96—Offence to experiment with animals other than in accordance with NHMRC code of practice 

Under this clause a person is prohibited from conducting experiments with animals other than in accordance with a code of practice issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council, specifically Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes .

 

Clause 97—Matters of responsibility 

This clause describes the Authority’s responsibilities in relation to the experimental use of animals: 

 

(a) the issuing of licences for approved research to a research worker; 

(b) the issuing of licences for the operation of a supply unit; 

(c) the issuing of licences for the operation of a research unit;

(d) giving final approval and issuing licences to all research projects funded by a Commonwealth Department or program; 

(a)     giving final approval and issuing licenses to all research projects funded by a corporation of the kind mentioned in section 5 of this Act or an international corporation;

(b)     the submission of an annual report to the Minister to disclose: 

 (i)  the number of animals bred within each research unit and the number purchased or obtained from recognised suppliers in each year, broken down into the different species bred or brought in, such record to include the names and addresses of suppliers; and 

 (ii) the number of animals made available for research each year, and the number of animals used by species; and 

(iii) the number of animals utilised for breeding colony maintenance; and

 (iv) the number of animals surplus to requirements which were culled, and by what method; and  

 (v) the number of deaths from disease or from unexplained causes; and 

 (vi) the number of experiments and/or tests on live whole animals during the preceding twelve months; and 

 (vii) the number of experiments or tests on live whole animals in which anaesthesia was administered; and 

 (viii) the number of animals used per category of experiment or test, for example, cancer research; diagnostic procedures; medical and veterinary; standardisation of drugs, sera and vaccines, safety testing of household products, safety testing of cosmetics, testing of weapons, riot control and defence devices, safety testing of agricultural products, safety testing of industrial chemicals, toxicity testing of food additives and behavioural research; and 

(c)     advising inspectors on any matter relating to this Part; and 

(d)     assessing recommendations from inspectors or research unit operators for revocation of licences, and the revocation of such licences, temporarily or otherwise; and 

(h) reporting and making recommendations regarding any extension of the use of animals by commercial interests, recognising that strict controls are necessary where the overall purpose of experiments is the pursuit of commercial enterprise; and 

(i) giving the Minister continuing help and advice; and 

(j) ensuring that the requirements of scientists are assessed by a competent authority; and 

(k) ensuring that the public is aware that proposals for cruel experiments will be scrutinised; and 

(l) providing a panel of persons with expertise in animal welfare and laboratory animal science to advise licensees; and 

(m) actively encouraging through grants and incentive schemes, research into alternatives to animal experimentation. 

 

Clause 98:  Data bank  
Under clause 98 the Authority will establish a data bank of all experiments using animals carried out in both Australia and overseas, and proceed to establish a data bank of alternatives to these experiments using animals. 

 

Clause 99:  Licences 

This clause sets out the criteria for applying to the Authority for a licence: 

 

·          to operate a research unit; or 

·          to operate a supply unit; or 

·          to conduct a research project. 

 

The Authority will not grant a licence to a person unless the person undertakes in writing to comply with the Australian Code of Practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

 

Note: It is an offence under section 94 to fail to comply with the Code of Practice. 

 

The Authority will not grant a licence to operate a research unit unless it is satisfied that the applicant will provide all pens, cages, compounds, tools, implements, buildings and dietary materials necessary to properly care for and handle animals in the research unit in compliance with the cruelty provisions of this Act. 

 

The Authority must not grant a licence to operate a supply unit unless it is satisfied that the applicant: 

 

·          has proven experience in the proper care and handling of animals; and 

·          possesses all pens, cages, compounds, vehicles, tools, implements, buildings and dietary materials necessary to properly care for and handle animals on his or her premises as specified in the regulations; and

·          has a veterinarian readily available to provide care and regular inspections of the breeding and maintenance premises.

 

 

Clause 100:  Public notice of licences 

This clause identifies that the Authority has a responsibility to ensure that the notices of an application for a licence are published in a newspaper circulating in the locality of a research unit and in a different newspaper circulating nationally. These notices must state the time when and place where the Authority will meet to consider whether to grant the licence. 

 

Clause 101:  Conditions of licences 

Clause 101 sets out that a licence under this Part is subject to such conditions as the Authority determines and specifies in the licence.

 

Clause 102:  Objections to licences 

 This clause requires entitles any person to appear before the Authority to object to the proposed grant of a licence. 

 

Clause 103:  Suspension or revocation of licence 

Clause 103 sets out the criteria by which the Authority may suspend or revoke a licence to operate a research unit or a supply unit if the Authority is satisfied, but only on the inspection and recommendation of the inspector that: 

 

·          the operator has failed to comply with a condition of the licence or this Act; or 

·          the operator has not properly maintained any of the facilities, equipment or materials referred to in the Regulations; or

·          the operator or any person employed by, or associated with, the operator in the research unit, has failed to observe or carry out the provisions of this Act or some other law relating to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect of animals. 

 

The Authority may suspend or revoke another licence under this Part if the operator has failed to comply with a condition of the licence. 

 

Clause 104: Acquisition of animals for research

Under this clause an operator of a research unit must not purchase or otherwise acquire an animal from any person for use in the research unit except from: 

 

·          the operator of a licensed research unit; or 

·          the operator of a supply unit. 

 

Clause 105: Revoked licences 

This clause permits the Authority to revoke a licence to operate a research unit, denying the operator an opportunity of gaining another licence for a period of one year after the revocation.  Operators included under this clause: organisations and responsible individuals determined by the Authority.

 

Clause 106: Management of pain 

Under this clause an animal used in a research unit in any experiment that is likely to cause pain to the animal must be anaesthetised.

 

Operators of research units must provide analgesics adequate to prevent an animal suffering pain during the period of its recovery from any procedure used in any experiment. 

 

 

 

Clause 107: Notice of revocation, refusal or suspension of licence 

This clause allows the Authority to refuse to grant, or propose to suspend or revoke a licence, but the Authority must give notice to the applicant or licensee, together with written reasons for its refusal or proposed suspension or revocation. 

 

Clause 108: Annual report of research unit operator

Under clause 108 the operator of a licensed research unit must submit an annual report to the Authority showing: 

 

·          the purpose of the experiment; and 

·          the need (ie does it duplicate other experiments and do the purposes justify it); and

·          commercial interests involved in the experiment; and 

·          the number of animals bred within each unit and the number purchased or obtained from

·          recognised suppliers in each year, broken down into the different species bred or brought in, including the names and addresses of suppliers; and 

·          the number of animals made available for research each year, and the number of animals used by species e.g. horses, dogs, cats, rodents, etc.; and 

·          the number of animals utilised for breeding colony maintenance; and 

·          the number of animals surplus to requirements which were culled and by what method; and 

·          the number of deaths from disease or from unexplained causes; and 

·          the number of experiments or tests on live whole animals during the preceding 12 months; and 

·          the number of experiments or tests on live whole animals in which anaesthesia was administered; and 

·          the number of animals used per category of experiment or test, e.g. cancer research, diagnostic procedures, medical and veterinary, standardisation of drugs, sera and vaccines, safety testing of household products, safety testing of cosmetics, testing of weapons, riot control and defence devices, safety testing of agricultural products, safety testing of industrial chemicals, toxicity test of food additives, behavioural research.  

·          a matter may be excluded from the annual report an the basis of commercial in confidence only if the information reveals a trade secret or details a process or product under patent.

 

Clause 109: Annual report of supply unit operator

This clause sets out the criteria for an operator of a supply unit in relation to their submission to the Authority’s annual report, which must include:

 

·          the number of each species bred; and 

·          to whom the animals are sold or forwarded; and 

·          the numbers of animals acquired by each purchaser; and 

·          the numbers retained for breeding colony maintenance and the numbers culled; and 

·          deaths from disease and from unknown sources; and 

·          from where breeding animals are obtained. 

 

Clause 110: Register  

Clause 110 allows for the Authority to keep a register of persons using animals for scientific purposes.  

This may be kept in any way the Authority considers appropriate, including, for example, in electronic form.  

 

 

Clause 111: Registration details  

This clause requires that the register must state the following for each registered person: 

 

·          the person’s name, address and registered number;  

·          if the person is not an individual the name of the principal executive officer of the registered entity;  

·          other information prescribed under a regulation.  

·          The register may include other information the chief executive considers appropriate.  

·          The information recorded in the register for a registered person is called the person’s registration details.

 

Clause 112: Inspection of register 

Under clause 112 the Authority must:

 

·          keep the register open for inspection, free of charge, by members of the public during office hours on business days at the Authority’s office; and  

·          allow a person to take extracts, free of charge, from the register; and 

·          give a person a copy of the register, or a part of it, on payment of the fee prescribed under a regulation.

 

Clause 113: False representations about registration  

This clause requires that a person must not, in connection with the use of an animal for a scientific purpose, intentionally or recklessly falsely represent that the person or someone else is a registered person.  

 

Clause 114: Conditions for cancellation or suspension  

Under this clause the Authority may cancel or suspend a person’s registration if:

 

·          the registration was because of a materially false or misleading representation or declaration, made either orally or in writing;  

·          the person has not complied with a registration condition;  

·          the person has not paid a fee prescribed under this Act in relation to the registration;  

·          if the person is an individual: 

(i) a disqualifying event happens in relation to the individual; or  

(ii) the individual becomes an undischarged bankrupt or, as a debtor, takes advantage of any law about bankruptcy or insolvent debtors;  

·          if the person is a corporation: 

(i) a disqualifying event happens in relation to any of its executive officers or another corporation of which any of its executive officers is, or has been, an executive officer; or  

(ii) it becomes insolvent as defined under the Corporations Act, section 95A.  

 

 

Part 9—Funding for animal research etc.

 

Clause 115: Prohibition on research funding   

This clause allows the Commonwealth to refuse funding to any organisation that uses animals for:

 

·          research and development; or  

·          promotional activities;

unless the Minister is satisfied that the organisation’s use of animals is consistent with the objects of this Act and does not contravene any code of practice established under the Regulations.

 

Under this clause all organisations that receive commercial funding must publish all other funding sources. If an organisation is in receipt of Commonwealth funding and/or funding from Commonwealth sources, those sources of funding must be reported with any application for Commonwealth funds and published in annual reports. 

 

 

Part 10 - Administrative Provisions

 

Division 1—Staff

 

Clause 116: Staff 

This clause identifies that staff of the Authority are to be engaged under the Public Service Act 1998

 

The Authority’s Chairperson has all the powers of a Secretary under the Public Service Act 1998 as they relate to the branch of the Australian Public Service comprising the Authority. 

 

The Authority may make arrangements with an authority of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory for the services of officers of that authority to be made available for the purposes of the Authority.

 

Clause 117: Consultants 

This clause empowers the Authority to engage consultants to assist it in the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers. 

 

 

Division 2—Payments and application of money

 

Clause 118: Payments to the Authority 

Under clause 118 there is payable to the Authority such money as is appropriated by the Parliament for the purposes of the Authority. The Authority may also be in receipt of money from a State or Territory jurisdiction. 

 

Clause 119: Application of money of the Authority 

This clause identifies the purposes for which monies received by the Authority can be expended, they include:

 

·          in paying or discharging costs, expenses and other obligations incurred in the performance of its functions; and 

·          in paying remuneration and allowances payable under this Act. 

 
Clause 120: Estimates 

Under this clause the Authority must prepare estimates, in a form directed by the Minister, of its receipts and expenditure for:

 

·          each financial year; and 

·          any other period specified by the Minister

 

The Authority must give the estimates to the Minister not later than a day directed by the Minister, and monies spent must be done in accordance with the estimates approved by the Minister. 

 

 

 

Division 3—Procedure of the Authority

 

Clause 121: Authority to regulate its procedure 

This clause empowers the Chairperson of the Authority to determine the procedure to be followed by the Authority.

 

Clause 122: Convening meetings 

Under this clause the Authority Chairperson is required to convene such meetings of the Authority as he or she thinks necessary for the efficient performance of its functions.

 

A written request sent to the Authority Chairperson and signed by at least 3 Authority members will facilitate the convening of an Authority meeting.

 

Clause 123: Presiding at meetings 

This clause details that the Chairperson is to preside at all meetings at which he or she is present. Members present, in the absence of the Chairperson, are to appoint a member to preside.

 

Clause 124: Quorum 

Under this clause 5 members constitute a quorum when the Authority meets.

 

Clause 125: Voting at meetings 

Clause 125 details that a question arising at a meeting is to be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting. The person presiding at a meeting has a deliberative vote but does not have a casting vote. 

 
Clause 126: Conduct and records of meetings

This clause empowers the Authority, subject to this Division, to decide on the procedure at meetings.  Minutes are to be kept of all Authority meetings. 

 

 

Division 4—Administrative Provisions

 

Clause 127: Delegation 

Under this clause the Authority may by instrument in writing delegate all or any of its powers to a member or a member of the staff of the Authority.

 

 

Clause 128: Remuneration and allowances 

This clause details that members are to be paid the remuneration and allowances determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If there is no determination in force, the member is to be paid such remuneration as is prescribed. 

 

A member is to be paid such other allowances as are prescribed. 

 

Remuneration and allowances payable to the members are to be paid out of money appropriated by the Parliament for the purposes of the Authority. 

 
Clause 129: Leave of absence 

This clause details that member’s recreation leave entitlements will be determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.  The Minister may grant a member leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on such terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise as the Minister determines. 

 
Clause 130: Resignation 

Under this clause a member may resign by sending a signed notice of resignation to the Minister. 

 
Clause 131: Disclosure of interests

Clause 131 identifies that a member who has a conflict of interest in relation to a matter being considered or about to be considered by the Authority must disclose the matters giving rise to that conflict to the Authority as soon as possible after becoming aware of the conflict. 

 

The member must not take part in the making of a decision by the Authority in relation to the matter unless the Authority, in the absence of the member, decides that there is no conflict of interest. 

 

For the purposes of this section, a member has a conflict of interest in relation to a matter being considered or about to be considered if the member has any interest, pecuniary or otherwise, that could conflict with the proper performance of the member’s functions in relation to the matter.

 

Clause 132: Ceasing to be Chairperson 

This clause details that should the Authority Chairperson cease to be a member of the Authority, he or she then ceases to be the Chairperson.

 

Clause 133: Termination of appointment 

Under this clause the Minister may terminate the appointment of a member for misbehaviour or physical or mental incapacity. 

 

The Minister must terminate the appointment of a member if: 

 

·          the member: 

(i) becomes bankrupt; or 

(ii) applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or 

(iii) compounds with his or her creditors; or 

(iv) makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for the benefit of his or her creditors; or 

·          the member is absent, without reasonable excuse, from 3 consecutive meetings of the Authority;  

 

If a member is: 

·          an eligible employee for the purposes of the Superannuation Act 1976 ; or

·          a member of the superannuation scheme established by deed under the Superannuation Act 1990

the Minister may, with the member’s consent, retire the member from office on the ground of incapacity.

 

·          In spite of anything in this Act, a member who: 

(a) is an eligible employee for the purposes of the Superannuation Act 1976 ; and 

(b) has not reached his or her retiring age within the meaning of that Act;

 

cannot be retired from office on the ground of invalidity within the meaning of Part IVA of that Act unless the Commonwealth Superannuation Board of Trustees No. 2 has given a certificate under section 54C of that Act.

 

·          In spite of anything in this Act, a member who: 

(a) is a member of the superannuation scheme established by deed under the Superannuation Act 1990 ; and

(b) is under 60;

 

cannot be retired from office on the ground of invalidity within the meaning of that Act unless the Commonwealth Superannuation Board of Trustees No. 1 has given a certificate under section 13 of that Act. 

 

Clause 134: Acting appointments 

This clause permits the Minister to appoint a member: 

·          during a vacancy in that office, whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office; or 

·          during a period, or during all periods, when the holder of the office is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office. 

 

·          Anything done by or in relation to a person claiming to act under this section is not invalid merely because: 

o    the occasion for the appointment had not arisen; or 

o    there was a defect or irregularity in connection with the appointment; or

o    the appointment had ceased to have effect; or 

o    the occasion to act had not arisen or had ended. 

 

 

Part 11—Miscellaneous

 

Clause 135: Regulations 

Under this clause the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing all matters: 

·          required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed; or

·          necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act. 

 

 

Regulations may prescribe civil or criminal penalties for the breach of a regulation. 

 

Schedule 1

 

This schedule establishes a National Animal Welfare System and sets out the roles and responsibilities of key parties.

 

Schedule 2

 

This schedule defines key terms used in the Act.