- Draft farm trespass and animal welfare legislation released for public comment today
- Community has until 10am on March 30, 2020 to provide feedback on the draft Bill
The McGowan Government is inviting the community to provide feedback on its proposed farm trespass and animal welfare legislation.
The draft Bill aims to strike the right balance between deterring illegal forms of activism while providing for the proactive inspection of abattoirs, knackeries, intensive egg and poultry farms and piggeries.
The legislation has been prepared in response to a number of incidents in which activists have trespassed on agricultural land for the purpose of drawing attention to animal husbandry practices they oppose.
The proposed reforms amend three separate Acts, namely the Animal Welfare Act 2002, Criminal Code (WA) and Restraining Orders Act 1997.
The McGowan Government has worked hard to create legislation that not only protects the agricultural sector, and in particular farming families, from the adverse economic and personal effects of trespass but also addresses the need to maintain community confidence in the animal welfare practices employed by the State's agricultural sector.
The community can make submissions by visiting https://www.justice.wa.gov.au/animalwelfare
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"The McGowan Government is committed to introducing legislation that not only protects primary industry - particularly regional farming families - but also enhances inspection powers in order to ensure community confidence in the welfare of animals in abattoirs, knackeries and other relevant facilities.
"The need to strike this balance became evident following the ABC's 7.30 program in October 2019 which showed horses being mistreated at an Eastern States knackery.
"Most Western Australians would consider themselves animal lovers and do not want to see animals being mistreated. However, they also do not support the activity of activists who take it upon themselves to draw attention to animal husbandry practices they perceive to be inhumane, and break the law in order to achieve this end.
"I encourage all Western Australians with an interest in the agricultural sector and animal welfare, to visit the website and provide their feedback."
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"This legislation will protect WA farmers and their families producing the food and fibre our community wants and needs.
"At the same time, welfare of animals in the livestock system is increasingly important to consumers and community.
"Ultimately it is in the best interests of our livestock industry to show that it meets high standards of transparency in animal welfare."
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200