Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 April 2018) . . Page.. 1154 ..
to place conditions on carers in the same way that conditions can be placed on keepers. For example, the carer must have appropriate fencing and locks in place.
In reviewing our laws, it is also important to ensure that they are framed accurately and are easily understood by the community. All offences in the act have been reviewed to ensure that they are clear and enforceable, are in line with current policy and that it is clearly stated whether an offence is strict liability or not. As the act is over 15 years old, this is an important step in ensuring that offences are current and up to date.
Importantly, this bill does not introduce any new offences; rather, it ensures that existing offences are current and clear and that people can easily understand their responsibilities. A strong infringement notice framework with fines and penalties for people who do the wrong thing is vital in ensuring the highest standards of public safety and animal welfare when it comes to dogs.
This bill allows fines to be issued by domestic animal services rangers in a greater range of circumstances where offences are clearly set out and the community is informed of their obligations. For example, the bill is clear about the kinds of conditions that can be placed on a dog control order, dangerous dog licence, multiple dog licences or home impoundment direction. When these conditions are breached, a fine can be issued.
I note the work of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety in its legislative scrutiny role and the comments provided on this bill in its scrutiny report 16. I thank the committee for its comments, which confirm the appropriate consideration of human rights issues. I am pleased to advise the Assembly that the committee’s comment in relation to the range of conditions which can be imposed on licences will be addressed through a revised Magistrates Court regulation which will support the Domestic Animals Act.
This regulation will be made after these amendments have been enacted, and, consistent with the explanatory statement for this bill, will ensure that the infringements notice scheme will only apply to the prescribed conditions. That will ensure that the offence of failing to comply with a condition is limited in the ways supported by the committee’s comments.
In summary, this bill makes technical and other minor amendments to align the dangerous dog and racing greyhound legislative amendments from last year and bring consistency to these provisions. It provides a definition of breeding in the legislation which includes the full process of breeding, from insemination to birth and weaning, in line with best practice. It allows for a dog control order and home impoundment direction to be placed on a carer for a dog as well as the keeper for a dog, recognising that there are times when it is appropriate to place responsibilities on a carer for a dog as well as a keeper.
The bill allows for a dog to be impounded on appropriate premises other than at just the territory pound to ensure the highest standard of animal welfare, for example, that seized puppies or mistreated dogs can be impounded in animal rescue facilities.