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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4134..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Animal Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2006

Mr Hargreaves, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (10.44): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, I bring to the Assembly today a bill regulating animal welfare issues. The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2006 proposes to make amendments in the Animal Welfare Legislation Act 1992 by inserting offence provisions where, for example, a veterinary surgeon performs surgery on an animal where the sole purpose of that surgery is to alter the animal's appearance. Offence provisions will also be included to prohibit veterinary surgeons from giving advice to a third party on how to perform a therapeutic procedure. This will include tail docking of dogs and castration of companion animals.

The time frame for when a non-veterinary surgeon may remove a dog's dewclaws will also be reduced. There will be a five-day requirement on the removal of a dog's dewclaws by a non-veterinary surgeon. Although it is a relatively minor procedure, it is one which should be done under anaesthetic and with analgesic pain relief after a period of time. The amendment will also ensure that the ACT is in line with other jurisdictions such as New South Wales.

A minor amendment will be made to the act to ensure that it is absolutely clear that animals should not be left alone in vehicles and in conditions that are likely to be detrimental to their health—for example, in a car on a hot day in full sun with no windows undone and no water provided.

The bill will tighten the act by ensuring that a person who owns the premises where an offence takes place in relation to baiting or animal fights is also covered by the offence. The offence will apply regardless of whether the person who owns the premises was aware of what was occurring at their premises.

The bill will also update requirements for licences, identification certificates, permits and research authorisations. For example, it will be compulsory for a person to apply for a commercial trapping permit.

Finally, a minor amendment will be made to ensure that an animal can be used to train another animal. Many sporting bodies and farmers use trained animals to show their

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