9 May 2013

Bill toughens laws protecting animals

6:36 am on 9 May 2013

The Government is proposing to toughen animal welfare laws in a bill introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.

It follows a review of the current act which attracted more than 2000 submissions.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the changes will make the legislation easier to enforce and more transparent and provide wider powers to deal with people who breach the welfare laws.

It will also make animal welfare codes enforceable.

Mr Guy said there are 15 codes of welfare and the number is continuing to grow.

But, he said, when a discussion document suggested that it may be worth replacing the codes with regulations, there was strong feedback that people appreciated the codes and liked working with them, but that they have been very difficult to enforce.

"So what the bill proposes to do with new regulations is we will toughen up how these codes of welfare can be implemented out in the industry."

Mr Guy said the bill also introduces compulsory standards for live animal exports, and includes measures to protect wild animals, and closer supervision of the use of animals in research.