Press release – the Greens, ACT; December 8 2010
Greens TAMS spokesperson, Caroline Le Couteur MLA, today tabled legislation to improve animal welfare and help stop animal cruelty, in particular by addressing problems with unethical breeding and animals being abandoned.
“Canberrans love their cats, dogs and other animals, and yet we have a situation where literally thousands of animals are abandoned, mistreated, and euthanised in the ACT every year,” Ms Le Couteur said.
“The Greens draft legislation proposes a comprehensive approach to addressing these problems, covering issues such as breeding, selling, desexing, microchipping and advertising.
“This legislation is the culmination of a year’s worth of work and consultation. We are releasing the bill as an exposure draft to the community until next February.
“The public is becoming more aware of the poor conditions in which many animals are being bred and sold, particularly through the work of animal welfare organisations. They have exposed serious animal welfare concerns both at intensive puppy breeding facilities, as well as at pet stores.
Michael Linke, CEO of the ACT RSPCA said: “I am really pleased that The Greens are taking animal welfare seriously. This legislation addresses a number of our concerns and supports our philosophy regarding the sale and licensing of companion animals.”
“My legislation aims to end the dumping and killing of so many companion animals, and the cruel mass breeding practices that support parts of the pet industry,” Ms Le Couteur concluded.
Some of the key proposals in the legislation tabled today are:
* Introducing mandatory licences for cat and dog breeders to ensure they meet proper standards of animal welfare
* Mandating point of sale desexing
* Banning the sale of cats and dogs from stores and markets (with limited exceptions for animals being sold on behalf of animal welfare organisations and shelters)
* Introducing a new system of traceability via microchips, so that all cats and dogs can be traced to their original breeders
* Amending the ACT’s animal cruelty offences, including by increasing the available maximum fines, and introducing a new requirement for vets to report suspected cases of animal cruelty
The bill and the explanatory material are at: www.legislation.act.gov.au/ed/db_40359/default.asp