Community called to comment on new animal welfare legislation

Increased penalties and new animal cruelty offences are being proffered in a modernisation of antiquated NSW animal welfare laws. Photo: Emma Darbin.


COMMUNITY feedback is being sought on the NSW Government’s recently released NSW Animal Welfare Reform – Discussion Paper, which seeks to modernise current animal welfare legislation.

The discussion paper outlines a series of proposals about the future of animal welfare legislation.

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It outlines how NSW legislation will align with the best available science and community expectations on animal cruelty and welfare.

Feedback on the discussion paper will support legislation development to create an animal management framework that is easier to understand, closes loopholes and reflects new best-practice since the original legislation was developed 40 years ago.

Proposals in the discussion paper include:
● Setting a minimum care requirement for those responsible for animals
● Clarifying what constitutes cruelty and who is responsible for the care of an animal
● Introducing a modern penalties framework with increased penalty amounts and new and enhanced offences
● Providing updated powers and tools to protect animals.
● Replacing three pieces of outdated legislation with a single modern animal welfare Act
● Expanding the existing Stock Welfare Panel process to cover all livestock and improve enforcement powers to ensure better welfare outcomes
● Improving administration of the new laws and oversight of animal welfare enforcement activities

To comment on the potential changes to current NSW animal welfare laws, email your submission to [email protected] or visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries website at

Public consultation on the changes is open until Friday September 3.

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