Consultation open as part of Animal Welfare Act review
The independent panel overseeing the review of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (the Act) has started a public consultation process to help identify key issues in animal welfare in Western Australia.
The panel is chaired by Western Australian barrister and regulatory law specialist Linda Black, who has a professional background in animal welfare. The other members of the panel are Di Evans, Dominique Blache, David Marshall and Catherine Marriott, who have a range of senior veterinary, animal welfare and industry experience.
The panel is calling for written submissions from stakeholders and the public to help it conduct its review of the operation and effectiveness of the Act. Any comments should relate to the panel’s terms of reference, and submissions must be no longer than five pages or 2500 words.
The consultation period closes at 5pm on 25 November 2019.
Over the coming months, the panel will also conduct several public forums to seek information and respond to questions about the review of the Act. Forums are scheduled on 26 November in Broome, 28 November in Karratha, 31 January in Katanning, and 3 February in Perth. Locations for Katanning and Perth are still to be confirmed.
About the review
The aim of the review is to assess the operation and effectiveness of the Act, including whether it reflects contemporary best practice and what legislative amendments might be required. The panel will provide a report to Government by June 2020, with detail on its findings and any recommendations for legislative amendments or the introduction of new policies or standards.
More specifically, the panel is enquiring into whether the Act provides adequate protection to the welfare of animals covered by the Act. The panel will consider whether there is a need to broaden the Act beyond acts of actual cruelty to include the promotion of minimum standards for humane treatment.
The review will take advice and input from the community, industry, welfare advocates, scientists, veterinarians and relevant experts in determining how best to ensure that modern best practice can be achieved in animal welfare.
The panel’s review of the effectiveness of the Act is separate to the work being carried out by the department to implement the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for livestock (Standards and Guidelines). Amendments to the Act in 2018 have made the implementation of the Standards and Guidelines in Western Australia possible.
For more information contact Rick Bryant, Manager Strategic Communications, South Perth on +61 (0)8 9368 3346.