The original Bill was amended in light of the recommendations of the Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Legislation.
Why is the Act being amended?
The Act is being amended to provide for the making of regulations giving effect to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines (Standards and Guidelines) for livestock.
The national Standards set mandatory requirements for the humane treatment of animals. The Guidelines advise on recommended practices but are not mandatory.
Western Australia is now the only jurisdiction in Australia that has not yet implemented the Standards and Guidelines for Land Transport of Livestock (2012). The changes to the Act will bring Western Australia into line with other jurisdictions and allow industry to operate across Australia with confidence under consistent and clear legislation.
While Australian farmers have always been aware of their responsibilities for animal health and welfare, consumers are increasingly aware of animal welfare and seeking to understand how farmers are managing their stock consistent with appropriate animal welfare practices.
The implementation of national welfare Standards underpins access to overseas markets and enhances Australia’s reputation as a supplier of high quality animal products.