RSPCA Queensland has welcomed proposed amendments to the Act that will better animal welfare, but says there is room for improvement in some key areas.
In 2021 RSPCA Queensland made 16 recommendations for change, many of which have been adopted or partially adopted. Key suggested changes to the ACPA include:
^ Maximum penalties increased for serious breach of Duty of Care offences regarding large scale animal suffering and aggravated offending.
The amendment Bill has increased penalties for some breaches including where the neglect of an animal results in prolonged suffering or even death. However, RSPCA Queensland would like to see this extended to include large scale animal suffering and aggravated offending (eg. backyard breeding, commercial operations) from one-year imprisonment to three-years imprisonment.
Inappropriate living conditions for over 100 bull terriers by a breeder which resulted in the dogs and puppies being rehabilitated both medically and behaviourally by the RSPCA.
A French bulldog breeder failed to provide appropriate living conditions, water and veterinary treatment for disease/injury to 12 dogs and three puppies.
77 cats found living in squalid conditions.
Two separate pet stores had animals for sale living in filthy or inappropriate conditions and with untreated medical conditions.
^ Maximum penalties increased from one-year imprisonment to three-years imprisonment for dogfighting and cockfighting offences.
RSPCA Queensland believes this increase is essential as dog fighting (and cockfighting) cause horrendous suffering to the animals involved.
A 50-year-old man was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment to serve three months in relation to dogfighting. Above is Pip, one of the dogs rescued who was successfully rehabilitated and rehomed by the RSPCA.
^ The banning of various devices that cause animals harm, for example steel jaw traps and glue traps.
The Amendment Bill has made provisions for bans such as these to occur in regulations (due to be reviewed soon).
Tabitha the cat (above) was caught in a steel jaw trap which caused irreparable damage to her leg resulting in amputation. It is not an isolated incident with another cat also caught in a separate incident (below).
A kookaburra caught in a pest control glue trap which sadly could not be saved due to injuries caused by the trap (below).
^ Laws to enable RSPCA Inspectors to enforce Prohibition Orders.
RSPCA Queensland need more power to enforce court ordered Prohibition Orders. They also suggest the need for creating a register of all prohibition orders and the need to notify Biosecurity Queensland of change of address of persons under a prohibition order.
Areas of Bill amendments proposed by the government which are welcomed by the RSPCA:
- An increase in maximum penalties Duty of Care offences relating to failure to provide adequate care resulting in death, for serious suffering, disability or deformity.
- The prohibition of prong collars in Queensland.
- Court ordered Prohibition Orders made in other jurisdictions will also be enforceable in Queensland.
Darren Maier, RSPCA Queensland CEO says, “The Animal Care and Protection Act is a good Act, but there is room to improve. We welcome the amendments proposed so far but ask the government to further expand this to protect animals in line with community expectations.”
RSPCA Queensland is also continuing discussions with the government in regards to the Animal Care and Protection Regulations which will cover other animal welfare topics.
Public submissions to the state government about the ACPA review close 12pm Wednesday 1st June. RSPCA Queensland will be submitting their final recommendations today.