Animal Welfare and Management Strategy to guide Canberra’s approach to pets and wildlife

Released 29/03/2017

The ACT Government will today release the first draft Animal Welfare and Management Strategy for consultation, which has been developed in conjunction with key animal management and welfare groups to guide animal management and welfare into the future.

“Canberrans love their pets, and the ACT Government is committed to ensuring we become an Australian leader in ensuring the highest standards of welfare and management for our furry, feathered or scaly friends,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“The Animal Welfare and Management Strategy will guide animal management and welfare into the future for our pets, wildlife and livestock.

“It will provide a clear guide for the delivery of improved services and future investment in animal welfare and management activities. And it will be an essential tool to direct continuous improvement to the life of animals and people in the ACT to improve our lifestyles and the safety of our city.”

The draft strategy has had input from a range of stakeholders, including the Animal Welfare Advisory Group, the RSPCA (ACT), Rural Leaseholders and various government directorates that have responsibility for animal management including the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and Environment. The ACT Government is now seeking public comment on the strategy over a six week period.

“Community consultation on the draft strategy is another step to ensuring we develop an animal welfare strategy that reflects our values.

“Recent public debate surrounding animal welfare and management in the ACT demonstrates just how much the community care about these issues and I urge people to have their say on the draft strategy.

“While the ACT has strong legislation governing the management of domestic animals, including dogs involved in attacks, it is a fact that legislation alone cannot prevent dog attacks. What is needed is action on multiple fronts to reduce the propensity and opportunity for attacks and this is precisely what the Animal Welfare and Management Strategy provides for.

“The draft strategy also acknowledges that we, as members of the community, are all responsible for ensuring animals receive appropriate care and are treated humanely. This includes being informed about issues affecting animals, practicing responsible pet ownership and avoiding impacts to native animals.

“We want to encourage a considered and integrated approach to responsible pet ownership, which might include strengthening existing laws on desexing, registration, micro-chipping, compliance and education. It is through a combination of these measures that we have the best chance of reducing the likelihood of dog attacks and other animal welfare issues.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with key stakeholders and the community to ensure the effective delivery of the initiatives outlined in the strategy.”

Members of the community will be able to provide their comments and feedback at from today until Wednesday 10 May 2017.

- Statement ends -

Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

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