Animal Welfare Regulation

Unsafe animal enclosures attract large fine

Horses standing in a paddock
All livestock owners are responsible for ensuring their animals have safe enclosures

A landholder in Pinjar was fined $6000 in Perth Magistrates Court in October for failing to comply with a number of direction notices issued under the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

The livestock owner, who keeps sheep, cattle, pigs and poultry on his property, was directed to remove substantial amounts of hazardous material from the animals’ enclosures following a visit by an inspector from the department’s Livestock Compliance Unit (LCU).

The inspector first visited the property in July 2015 and saw several enclosures with large amounts of hazardous rubbish in them, including corrugated iron, wire mesh, and wooden pallets. Four direction notices were issued in August 2015 ordering him to move the livestock away from the property until all materials that were likely to cause harm had been removed.  

The inspector subsequently visited the property on several occasions to check on the improvements to the enclosures but found that the directions had not been complied with.

In addition to the fine, the man was ordered to pay $4000 in legal costs and directed to remove the potentially harmful material or destock by 2 November. Inspectors visited the property soon after the deadline had passed and found that the enclosures had been satisfactorily cleaned up.

Department principal compliance inspector Charlotte McIntyre said the successful conviction was a reminder that directions from LCU inspectors regarding animal welfare were serious and needed to be followed.

“On this occasion, while the state of the enclosures was hazardous to the animals, the offender was given ample time to rectify them,” Charlotte said.

“There was disregard for not only the instructions in the direction notices, but also for the welfare of the animals.

“We work with the community and landholders to ensure the best animal welfare outcomes but, where appropriate, will prosecute people who flout the law when it comes to the welfare of animals.”

To report suspected cruelty to animals, contact the RSPCA on +61 (0)8 9209 9300 or 1300 278 3589 (emergencies only).