26 September 2023

New animal laws to have bite!

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The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) is encouraging South Australians to have their say on the State’s animal welfare laws as the public consultation opens on the first significant review of the Animal Welfare Act in 15 years.

According to the Department, the YourSAy webpage and online survey provided the public with an opportunity to share feedback about how the laws worked and how they could improve.

It said the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (RSPCA) had raised concerns that they were not able to prosecute some acts of cruelty due to weaknesses in the existing law, including puppy factories where animals were kept in filthy conditions, and prosecutions were risky and expensive to run.

Chief executive of RSPCA South Australia, Paul Stevenson said the Society was extremely pleased that the Government announced the review.

“Last year, our organisation undertook a national assessment of animal welfare legislations which revealed that South Australia currently has the weakest legislated animal protections of any state in Australia,” Mr Stevenson said.

“This opportunity to modernise our Act is therefore urgently needed,” he said.

Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, Susan Close said the State Government’s review into the Animal Welfare Act gave South Australians a great opportunity to shape laws that determined the future care of animals.

“We recognise this legislation needs updating to reflect community expectations that laws against cruelty should be enforceable,” Ms Close said.

“The review is another example of the State Government delivering on its election commitments and we look forward to the public’s participation,” she said.

DEW said it would analyse all community feedbacks and provide a report of the outcomes to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water.

It said consultation was open for contributions until Sunday 26 March 2023 and all submissions must be provided through the online survey.

More information can be accessed at the YourSAy website at this PS News link.

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