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Community

15 April, 2021

Paw-fect time to have your say

THE RSCPA is calling on members of the public to have their say on a proposed overhaul of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, with tougher penalties for cruelty and neglect on the cards.

By Nicole Gibson

RSPCA Cairns Animal Care Manager Natalie Anger and Animal Attendant Johanna Uebel with Meatball and Pancake.

Last week the Queensland Government announced it would conduct a major review of animal welfare laws for the first time in 20 years, calling for feedback from the public via a survey on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

The review will look at a range of measures to strengthen protections for animals including Mandatory reporting by veterinary professionals of animal welfare concerns, the use of baits and traps and penalties for animal cruelty.

RSPCA Qld receives thousands of complaints from members of the public who believe that the sentences for animal cruelty and neglect are too lenient or inconsistent.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Daniel Young said one example of where penalties need to be strengthened is in relation to organised dog fighting offences, which currently carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

“We believe it should be 3 years which is in line with the current penalty for animal cruelty,” Chief Inspector Young said.

“There are also inconsistencies in relation to the penalties imposed for neglect.

“We see many serious or large-scale neglect cases that result in significant harm to large numbers of animals or to one animal over a long period of time, and in these cases we believe the current maximum penalty of 1 year’s imprisonment is inadequate.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the review will continue to ensure that our animal welfare laws remain current and protect the welfare of all animals in Queensland.

“This review will examine all aspects of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 to ensure that the Act continues to meet changing community expectations and modern animal welfare practices,” he said.

● Mandatory reporting by veterinary professionals of animal welfare concerns;

● Prohibited events, regulated surgical procedures and offence exemptions;

● The use of baits and traps;

● Restraining dogs in open utility vehicles and trucks;

● The use of animals in science;

● Inspector powers and arrangements for externally appointed inspectors;

● The management of animals seized during animal welfare investigations; and

● Penalties for animal cruelty.

To have your say visit biosecurity.qld.gov.au and search for ‘ACPA review’ before midnight, Friday May 21, 2021 to complete the survey or submit a written response.

 


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