26 September 2023

New law tightens up injuries to animals

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An updated Act for caring and protecting animals is the first update of the laws in more than two decades and means offenders will face up to three years in prison should they breach their duty of care.

In a statement, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said the upgraded Act also puts in place a ban on the use of pronged collars and gives animal welfare inspectors powers to intervene where an animal is found to be in distress.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner said the new offence 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 to see animals better protected and people who don’t comply punished appropriately, and that is exactly what these updated laws provide,” Mr Furner said.

He said the new offence of breach of duty of care for causing death, serious deformity, serious disablement or prolonged suffering of an animal would result in a maximum penalty of 2,000 penalty units or three years imprisonment.

“The new legislation facilitates the ethical use of animals for scientific purposes while ensuring that animal welfare is not compromised,” Mr Furner said.

“There will also be 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 a new power for an inspector to enter a livestock-processing facility when a horse is being processed,” he said.

Mr Furner said that for many Queenslanders, keeping pets was part of their great lifestyle and the changes reflected the protection that Queenslanders wanted for their animals.

“Being able to love and keep pets is an important part of many people’s lives and Queenslanders want those pets to have strong protections,” the Minister said.

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