Member for the Agricultural Region, the Hon Rick Mazza MLC has welcomed Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan’s decision to accept the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Legislation on the Animal Welfare Bill 2017 which rejects a compliance regime that would have allowed designated general inspectors unrestricted access to farms, saleyards and livestock vehicles without the owner’s consent.
The decision comes after the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Legislation in March this year which recommended that only clauses 1 – 8 of 19 clauses be accepted.
This will allow for the legal framework enabling Regulation of Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for livestock bringing Western Australia into line with Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
Mr Mazza said he consulted widely with industry in regards to the Bill, and while clauses 1 to 8 were readily accepted, the other contentious clauses were not.
“A new class of general inspector would have been unnecessary given the powers provided to inspectors by the current act are adequate,” Mr Mazza said.
“I am pleased the Minister accepted the recommendations put forward by the Standing Committee by withdrawing the remainder of the clauses.
“Although the designated general inspector and associated powers were not progressed during this set of amendments to the Animal Welfare Act, the Minister has made it clear that a compliance regime remains a priority.
“Therefore, it is vital that livestock industries affected by this legislation are consulted properly before any other changes are made,” Mr Mazza said.