South Australians are being encouraged to have their say on the state’s animal welfare laws as public consultation opens on the first significant review of the Animal Welfare Act in 15 years.
The RSPCA has raised concerns that they are not able to prosecute some acts of cruelty due to weaknesses in the existing law. This includes puppy factories where animals are kept in filthy conditions, yet prosecutions are risky and expensive to run.
A YourSAy webpage and online survey provides the public with an opportunity to share feedback about how the laws work and how they could improve.
This comprehensive community consultation recognises the public increasingly expects animal welfare to be taken seriously.
National Parks and Wildlife Service Director of Conservation and Wildlife Lisien Loan said South Australians are passionate about the welfare of our animals, from pets to wild species, and this review provides the ideal opportunity to provide their thoughts.
“It is the most comprehensive review of the Animal Welfare Act undertaken in the past 16 years,” Ms Loan said.
“We are keen to hear from a broad cross-section of the community. You do not need specialist knowledge in animal welfare to participate in the survey.”
CEO of RSPCA South Australia Paul Stevenson said the RSPCA is extremely pleased that the government has announced this review.
“Last year, our organisation undertook a national assessment of animal welfare legislations which revealed that South Australia currently has the weakest legislated animal protections of any state in Australia,” Mr Stevenson said.
“This opportunity to modernise our Act is therefore urgently needed.”
The Department for Environment and Water will analyse all community feedback and provide a report of the outcomes to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water.
Consultation is open for contributions from today to Sunday 26 March 2023. All submissions must be provided through the online survey.
For more information and to participate: yoursay.sa.gov.au/animal-welfare-act-review