The Animal Care and Protection Act is the legislation that sets the tone for animal welfare in Queensland. It hasn’t been updated in twenty years and does little to help animals in it’s current form. Finally we are getting an opportunity to make changes and it’s really important that there are a huge number of submissions received by Parliament by May 21st this year.
We have listed below the points being submitted by our animal protection consortium, and then also listed the points we are making in our submission. You can use these points to construct your own submission, instructions are at the bottom of the email.
We have joined with Animals Australia, Animal Liberation Queensland, Animal Justice Party, Animals Need Shade, Coast to Coast Animal Friends and World Animal Protection as a united front for animals. As a powerful coalition we have established five changes to the Act that we believe are fundamental:
1. Recognise the sentience of non-human animals and the community’s obligation to protect the basic requirements of animal welfare – freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; freedom to express normal behaviours; and freedom from fear and distress.
2. Enable the establishment of an Independent Office of Animal Protection to address the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ current conflict of interest in regulating and enforcing animal-use industries while fostering those industries’ economic productivity.
3. Provide a minimum baseline of animal welfare to ensure that neither the Codes or Standards can enable animal cruelty that should otherwise be prohibited under the Act.
4. Ensure mandatory prohibition orders for repeat or serious offenders to prohibit those individuals from owning or being responsible for any animal for life.
5. Mandate the end to calf roping in Queensland as a prohibited event.
In addition, Farm Animal Rescue has independently submitted 21 legislative changes to specifically help farm animals:
1. DAF inspectors must be obligated to prosecute when there is evidence of animal abuse or neglect.
2. References to justifiable animal cruelty being exempt from the law must be removed.
3. Rodeos must be listed as a prohibited event
4. Tail docking and castration must only be executed when necessary and performed by a veterinarian with appropriate sedation
5. There should be no exemptions to animal welfare codes
6. There should be no exemptions that allow animals to be used as live bait
7. The stunning exemption granted to religious slaughter must state that slaughter must be conducted precisely according to the elements of religious texts that are designed to minimise stress to the animal
8. The public must have access to the full list of organisations that conduct scientific research on animals
9. Draize tests, where toxins are dripped into animal eyes, must be banned
10. Inspectors must be obligated to seize any animal that is determined to not be correctly cared for
11. Animals surrendered under cruelty investigations must be offered to rescue organisations before being sold at auction
12. Inspectors must be required to immediately euthanise any animal in terminal pain without needing to first contact the owner. (Currently inspectors wait at accident sites for owners to be contacted before euthanising animals in terminal pain)
13. A sanctuary or sanctuary adoption program must be the first option for surrendered animals
14. Registered animal protection organisations must be considered “interested persons” and have access to information about cruelty investigations
15. The animal welfare committee must be comprised of at least 50% animal protection representatives
16. Animal protection organisations must have access to classified investigation reports with appropriate confidentiality arrangements
17. The ACPA needs to be specific about mandatory codes and mandatory sections of codes. Currently the act is very confusing and vague when it comes to which codes are enforced in Queensland
18. Slaughter needs to be reinstated as a mandatory code (slaughter codes are currently only recommended and are not enforceable)
19. Feedlot, weaning & juvenile separation and mutilation codes should be mandatory
20. A husbandry code should be written and be mandatory requiring best practice
21. The ACPA must determine the frequency that agricultural entities should be investigated for mandatory code compliance. Inspectors should not be from the community in which the entity exists and inspections should be conducted without notice
Over to You
Your submission to parliament is really important if we are to achieve real change for animals. You can easily prepare your submission by copying any of the amendments listed by the consortium or by us in this email and adding them to your submission.
We suggest that you add additional statements to your submission about why you want to see the changes made (why you care!), so that government can see how important the issue is to you, and then just click and send.
Your submission doesn’t have to be long or detailed, so you really only need to spend five minutes or so. You can lodge your submission on the Queensland Government website by May 21st, 2021.
Thank you for taking the time to help Queensland’s animals, who need your help so very much. We will let you know when we hear about the next step in the process. Congratulations on making steps for animals!