Project status: Closed
How you had YourSay:
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Animal Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 from December 2018 to February 2019. We sought feedback to inform the final legislative framework that the ACT Government introduced to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2019.
View a summary of the feedback received in the consultation report.
In September 2017, the ACT Government released the ACT Animal Welfare Management Strategy 2017-22.
The Strategy committed to a review of animal welfare and management laws in the ACT to ensure, among other things, that animal welfare and management laws were up-to-date, best practice and in line with community expectations to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare and management.
Substantial amendments were made to the Domestic Animals Act 2000 in December 2017 and April 2018, in particular around the management of dangerous dogs. These amendments delivered on the commitment in the Strategy around reviewing animal management laws. In 2018, these changes and their administration were subject to an independent expert review into dog management in the ACT.
We looked at:
The amendments proposed ensured the ACT has a best-practice, contemporary and effective regulatory system that protects and promotes the welfare of animals, prevents and deters cruelty to animals and responds appropriately to animal welfare abuses.
We used your views to:
Inform the final legislative framework that the ACT Government introduced to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2019.
Following the feedback received, on 26 September 2019, animals were recognised as sentiment beings in law, when the Animal Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Under the new laws, if serious animal welfare abuses are committed, the Animal Welfare Authority can impose an interim ownership ban of up to six months. The Authority can also seize, retain, sell, or rehome an animal where appropriate. The Bill also set out an accreditation framework for assistance animals for the first time in the ACT, detailing the recognition and right of access for assistance or service animals to public places and premises.
For the first time in the ACT, pet shops, boarding kennels and other pet businesses are required to have a license, to provide increased protections for animals in their care.