Page 1134 - Week 04 - Thursday, 17 March 2005

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how laws are referred to, and chapter 17, which deals with how entities and positions are referred to, are being simplified and their scope clarified.

In addition to the explanatory notes in the bill, parliamentary counsel is available to provide any further explanation or information that members would like about any of the amendments made by the bill. The bill, while minor and technical in nature, is another important building block in the development of a modernised and accessible ACT statute book that is second to none in Australia. Despite the nature of the amendments, their cumulative number has created a substantially sized bill on this occasion. Mr Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Animal Diseases Bill 2005

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (10.44): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am very pleased today to present the Animal Diseases Bill 2005. I will also be presenting the Stock Bill 2005 and I will speak to the two bills together. These two bills will have a positive impact on urban and rural environment management, particularly in terms of national standards for the management of animal diseases.

The Animal Diseases Bill 2005 will repeal the Animal Diseases Act 1993 to take account of developments in animal health issues such as the national livestock identification system, banning the feeding of swill to livestock and a number of administrative reforms. The Animal Diseases Bill will provide for the introduction of a national livestock identification system which is a permanent whole-of-life identification system operated through a national database that enables individual animals to be tracked from property of birth to slaughter. This is an important provision, especially in the face of increasing global concern about diseases such as mad cow disease, that have public health and international trade implications. A whole-of-life traceability is essential for locating all cattle related to a case.

The amendments will also provide for the banning of swill feeding to livestock. This has already been agreed on a national basis as a public health measure to control the transmission of infected animal products in animal food. The ACT is the only jurisdiction yet to implement such a ban. There was no need to implement a ban directly until recently as pig keeping was not possible in the ACT.

The amendments also provide for a minimum 72-hour stock standstill. This measure has been agreed in principle by jurisdictions as an important initial emergency response. The amendment will place an obligation on owners or controllers of stock to stop movement

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