Queensland, Australia, Passes Stricter Animal Welfare Laws For The First Time In More Than Two Decades

Under Queensland’s first update of animal welfare laws in more than two decades, offenders will face up to three years in prison if they breach their duty of care and cause the death, disablement, or prolonged suffering of animals.

The updated Animal Care and Protection Act also puts in place a ban on the use of pronged collars and gives animal welfare inspectors powers to intervene if an animal is found to be in distress.

A statement by the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner, explained that the new offense of aggravated breach of duty of care was just one of a range of changes being made to the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

“Queenslanders want animals to be better protected and people who don’t comply punished appropriately, and that is exactly what these updated laws provide,” said Furner.

Key amendments include:

  • New offense for causing death, serious deformity, serious disablement or prolonged suffering of an animal. The maximum penalty is up to three years imprisonment.

  • Greater use of animal welfare directions to enforce compulsory codes of practice, extending inspectors’ powers to enter a place to provide shelter to an animal, recognition of interstate prohibition orders, and the ability for an inspector to enter a livestock slaughterhouse when a horse is being killed.

  • Dogs must be properly secured while traveling in a vehicle, or a trailer attached to a vehicle. A dog’s body must not protrude from an open window.

  • A ban on inhumane practices such as firing or blistering of horses, which is a part of soring.

  • Anyone using CSSP Pig Poison can be prosecuted for animal cruelty.

  • Implementing some of the recommendations of the Martin Inquiry into the treatment of racehorses.

  • Implementing some of the recommendations of the Queensland Audit Office to improve the appointment and training of inspectors and the governance of animal welfare investigations and prosecutions by the RSPCA Queensland.

“Being able to love and keep pets like dogs is an important part of many people’s lives and Queenslanders want those pets to have strong protections,” continued Furner. “Queenslanders want animals treated with care and respect and the updated Animal Care and Protection Act will contribute to that.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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