Agriculture Minister Mark Furner

May 12, 2022

Tough new penalties will be applied to people who commit aggravated breaches of their duty of care to animals under proposed new Queensland animal welfare laws.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the package of amendments reflected advances in the knowledge and understanding of animal biology and behaviour and responded to community expectations about the welfare of all animals, including livestock.

He said the Bill would be examined by a Parliamentary Committee.

Stakeholders and the community would be able to provide feedback on the proposed amendments via that process before any amendments to the Act were made.

Mr Furner said under the proposed amendments:

  • There would be a new offence for aggravated breaches of the duty of care, with a maximum penalty of more than $275,000 or three years’ jail;
  • Some powers of inspectors in relation to entry and compliance with animal welfare directions would be clarified;
  • Minimum standards for making Codes of Practice under the Act, including on the basis of scientific evidence, would be clarified;
  • The scientific use of animals, including alignment of the scientific use provisions to the Australian Scientific Use Code, would be clarified;
  • A new framework would be developed for cattle spaying and pregnancy testing by lay persons;
  • There would be a requirement for dogs to be restrained on vehicles, with an exemption for working dogs;
  • The use and possession of pronged dog collars would be banned; and
  • The use of yellow phosphorous pig poison would be banned.

The proposed amendments will also include some legislative changes recommended by an inquiry into the management of retired thoroughbred and standardbred horses (the Martin Inquiry) and an audit undertaken by the Queensland Audit Office in 2021.

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