Page 245 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 8 February 2023
Animal Management and Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2022
Debate resumed from 11 October 2022, on motion by Mr Steel:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.45): I rise today to speak on the Animal Management and Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2022. This bill makes minor updates to the territory’s animal management and welfare legislation, specifically to the Domestic Animals Act 2000, Animal Welfare Act 1992 and Animal Welfare Regulation 2001.
These are largely technical amendments that seek to better align dog and cat management requirements and responsibilities; enhance administrative processes; make minor reflections of best practice welfare; and make the legislation consistent with existing policies and practices.
The amendments relating to the Domestic Animals Act 2000 relate to multiple cat and dog licences; illegal breeding and desexing; advertising dogs and cats; and assistance animal accreditation. With respect to multiple cat and dog licences which allow a person to keep four or more dogs or cats, the amendments replace the annual dog licence duration with a two-year duration and applies a two-year duration to multiple cat licences, which currently do not have a set duration. The amendments align multiple cat licence requirements with those for dogs where relevant, in relation to the requirement for registration numbers and the name and address to be provided. They also exempt foster carers from the requirements to provide registration numbers.
The amendments also remove the female specific wording from an illegal breeding offence to make it consistent with a similar illegal breeding offence to better reflect existing policy and accepted practice that owners of male or female cats and dogs must not breed their cats or dogs without a breeding licence. They clarify that registered assistance animal trainers must also be registered as assessors to test and accredit assistance animals, again to better reflect current practice. The amendments include a technical amendment to the requirements for advertising dogs and cats to better align with the original policy intent of the legislation and current practice which alters the scope of the offence by no longer requiring both the rehoming identifier and microchip number to be displayed. Instead, only one of the two will be required to be displayed on an advertisement.
The amendments also clarify the definition of desex so that it reflects newer methods of surgical sterilisation. In doing so this does not change the scope of any offences related to desexing, as the definition is inclusive as opposed to exclusive, meaning that it serves an explanatory purpose without constricting how related offences apply.
The final amendments to the Domestic Animals Act 2000 are technical in nature and update headings and definitions, in line with standard drafting practice. This is also the case with the amendments to both the Animal Welfare Act 1992 and the Animal Welfare Regulation 2001, with the amendments updating headings and notes linking to definitions, in line with standard drafting practice.