This month, the Animal Care and Protection Amendment Bill 2022 was passed by Queensland Parliament.

Key changes RSPCA Queensland agrees with:

  • Get your pet microchipped and registered – ask your local vet.
  • A new offence for an aggravated breach of duty of care, with a maximum penalty of $287,500 or 3 years imprisonment.
  • Animal Prohibition Orders issued in states outside of Queensland can now be enforced.

The RSPCA says that people travelling with pets this festive season need to be aware of changes to the legislation that are now active.

“If you have a dog on the back of your ute or in a trailer, they must be properly secured with the appropriate tether or in an enclosed cage,” says Rachel Woodrow, RSPCA Queensland GM Inspectorate & Rescue.

The legislation also states that dogs cannot have more than their head protruding from vehicle windows when driving.

The RSPCA doesn’t want to see a repeat of last year’s dog’s fall from a ute. “These changes are great for pet safety and will help see less animals falling from vehicles and ute trays,” says Ms Woodrow.

*The amendments do not apply to working dogs involved in moving livestock.

Where future improvements to the Act need to be made:

  • Maximum penalties increased for dogfighting and cockfighting offences.

“We’re disappointed that this wasn’t considered within the new amendments. People involved with dog or cockfighting cause deliberate and horrendous suffering to animals. Penalties need to increase,” says Ms Woodrow.

  • Increased powers for Inspectors to monitor compliance with Prohibition Orders

Currently, Inspectors have no authority under the legislation to monitor a person’s compliance with an Order which is issued by Court. These orders detail what animals the person is prohibited from owning for a defined period.

Ms Woodrow explains, “Without the ability to monitor compliance, our Inspectors must rely on calls from the public to provide information about possible breaches of these orders which is an ineffective method of ensuring compliance and does not deter people from continuing to own animals when they are not lawfully permitted to.”

If you see an animal welfare concern, contact the RSPCA’s 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).