It is an offence under the Act to engage in a prohibited activity. The Act defines a prohibited activity as an activity that involves releasing an animal, or putting an animal somewhere, for the purpose of enabling the animal to be:
- shot at (whether with a firearm or any other weapon)
- hunted by a person or another animal
- fought by a person or another animal, or
- chased by another animal, other than an animal of the same species.
The Act considers a person is engaging in a prohibited activity if the person:
- takes part in it
- spectates at it
- organises it
- promotes it
- keeps an animal for the purpose of it
- allows it to occur at a place owned or operated by the person, or
- in the case of the activities described in (c) and (d) of the definition of “prohibited activity”, encourages an animal to participate in it.
Severe penalties apply for a person convicted of engaging in a prohibited activity. A minimum penalty of $2000 up to a maximum of $50 000 or five years imprisonment apply for each offence.
It is a defence to a charge of engaging in a prohibited activity where the activity is the releasing of an animal for the purposes of it being hunted by another animal for a person to prove that:
- the animal was released as food for a predatory animal kept in captivity
- the diet of captive predatory animals of that kind ordinarily includes animals of the kind released, and
- the captive predatory animal will not ordinarily eat dead meat.