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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 March 2010) . . Page.. 1014 ..


MR HARGREAVES: No, we got rid of him at the last federal election, Mr Coe. The codes relate to pet-breeding establishments, pet shops, domestic poultry welfare, rabbit welfare, rats and mice welfare, animals at sale yards, sheep welfare, short-term display of animals, trapping, wildlife, the injured and sick, and orphaned—he says to an empty crossbench.

To remain focused on these practical issues, though, I do not agree with Ms Le Couteur’s suggested amendment, because you can see by all of that that there is an immense amount of work going on. I might remind the chamber of legislation that I introduced when I was minister about dog and cat welfare. We insisted on the microchipping of kittens and dogs. We removed tail docking from the ACT. We insisted on the compulsory desexing of cats and a range of issues which were primarily around animal welfare. That might sound like they were trying to do things to the animals. They were not; it was all about animal welfare. I know that your eyes are starting to water, Mr Coe, but just try and control it.

One of the issues that we have with Ms Le Couteur’s amendment is that it actually changes the tenor of the motion. The motion Ms Porter brings forward is all about domestic animal welfare—pets. It is not about all animals. We are doing an enormous amount of work with all animals. In fact, we are going to bring back something a little later on and I would urge patience on the part of the chamber. See you later, Mr Doszpot; thanks for coming. I think that Ms Le Couteur is going to be ecstatic when she sees this legislation. She will be beside herself. She will talk to herself—that is how much she will be beside herself. It will be such a massive and brilliant piece of legislation that she will stand in Civic Square and congratulate the government. I will be in the audience.

Mr Coe: They do that already.

MR HARGREAVES: I know they do, Mr Coe. Thank you very much for that. We cannot agree with the amendment because of two things. One is that it widens it too much for the moment and the other is the timing. We do not disagree on what Ms Le Couteur is trying to put forward. We disagree only with the timing. We would prefer to talk about the wider animal welfare issue at a later stage when this other work on codes of practice has been completed.

I do not want Ms Le Couteur to think that she is unloved. I do not want her to think that we are deliberately going our way and crossing the road and insulting her, because the lights are red—we would not do that. We want her to know that we are in the same chook cage. We are, in fact, on exactly the same path to protect all animals, but we just cannot agree with her amendment at the moment. We could ask her indulgence, in fact, to walk this road with us rather than fight us along the way. It is silly because we all have the same commitment. I know that Mr Coe has a world reputation for animal welfare and that he loves, sometimes a little bit too intimately, many animals in the territory. He was at the dog show. He came fourth in one of their races, Mr Speaker. You did not know that because he is too shy to tell everybody.

I commend Ms Porter’s motion to the Assembly on behalf of my cat Andy with whom I had a consultation process, you might like to know, Mr Coe, because our


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