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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3471..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

The proposed amendments to the Animal Welfare Act will make illegal a currently accepted animal husbandry practice within the dog breeding community, namely tail docking. Currently under the Act, any person can cut the tail off a puppy within 10 days of the puppy's birth. The amendments to the Animal Welfare Act will prohibit anyone from removing the tail from a puppy unless they are a veterinarian and there is a therapeutic reason for doing so.

The proposed amendments to the Animal Welfare Act will also prohibit the carriage of dogs on the back of open trucks or utilities, unless the dog is secured on a lead short enough to prevent it from reaching the sides of the vehicle, or the dog is contained within a secured cage. The injuries that can be received by dogs that accidentally fall off the back of a moving vehicle can be both horrific and fatal.

Mr Speaker, I believe that this package will provide the Government with the means, at last, to address issues that have been an ongoing source of concern to many members of our community for some considerable time. These reforms are about responsible pet ownership, animal welfare, public safety and urban amenity. That is quite a range of outcomes to balance, and I welcome the community debate on the balance that we have struck in this package.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell )adjourned.


Paper and Reference to Standing Committee on Education

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (3.50): Mr Speaker, today I table the draft three-year strategic plan for preschools in the ACT in the context of Early Childhood Services, Partners in Learning for Living, and I move:

That the paper entitled "Draft Three Year Strategic Plan for Preschools in the ACT" be referred to the Standing Committee on Education for inquiry and report by 28 April 2000.

Today I would like to table that report, the draft strategic plan for preschools in the context of Early Childhood Services, Partners in Learning for Living. This draft strategic plan reflects a considerable amount of effort of many interest groups and individuals, in preparing the document for discussion and review, prior to implementation of the final plan. It proposes a direction from my department for the next three years. It builds on the strengths of our current preschool system and takes account of the changes that are occurring for children and families, and for the ACT Community.

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