Animal Law Talk - Maike Dorn
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Animal Law Talk - Maike Dorn

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A talk given Maike Dorn at ARA's Animal Law forum held in November 2009 on the limited protections that exist in Western Australia for animals.

A talk given Maike Dorn at ARA's Animal Law forum held in November 2009 on the limited protections that exist in Western Australia for animals.

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Animal Law Talk - Maike Dorn Animal Law Talk - Maike Dorn Presentation Transcript

  • ANIMAL WELFARE LAW What protection exists for animals in Western Australia? Dr. Maike Dorn BSc BVMS (Hons) LLB (Hons)
  • Overview of presentation
    • How I became interested and involved in animal welfare law
    • Some case examples
    • Overview of Legislation
    • Successful prosecution – Dawson Case
    • Problem of enforcement of Animal Welfare Laws
    • Animal Welfare Legislation fails to adequately protect many categories of animals
  • Photos courtesy of Second Chance Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc
  • Doc’s Case
  • Animal Welfare Law is gaining momentum
    • In 2008 the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission stated that animal welfare and animal rights is perhaps the ‘next great social justice movement’
    • Law Schools now offer animal law as a subject
    • First textbook of animal law in Australia was published in February 2009
  • Animal Welfare Legislation in WA
    • Animal Welfare Act 2002
    • Animal Welfare (General) Regulations 2003
    • Codes of Practice
      • Eg. Code of Practice for Animals at Saleyards in Western Australia
    • (Full list of Codes available at: http://www.dlgrd.wa.gov.au/Legislation/AnimalWelfare/CodesPractice.asp?Return=True)
  • Animal Welfare Act 2002
    • Cruelty prohibition s.19(1)
    • Duty of care provisions s.19(3)
    • Range of Defences s.21 – 30
      • Eg. Code of Practice s.25
        • It is a defence to a charge under section 19(1) for a person to prove that the person was acting in accordance with a relevant code of practice.
  • Dawson’s case
    • Magistrates Court Western Australia 22 July 2008
    • Charged with ‘cruelty to animals’ under s.19 Animal Welfare Act 2002
    • Unloading sheep at Fremantle Port
    • Penalty: $2500 fine and prohibited from transporting sheep and cattle for 1 year.
  • Dawson Video
  • Enforcement of Animal Welfare Laws
    • RSPCA
      • 10 inspectors
      • 3923 cruelty complaints in 2009
      • 12 prosecutions in 2009 – 6 successful (3 dismissed, 3 pending trial)
    • Department of Local Government – Animal Welfare Unit
      • 2 Inspectors
    • Police??
    • Department of Agriculture??
    • CALM??
  • My Honours Thesis
    • Legal Protection of Invasive Animals in Australia:
    • A Paradox of Animal Welfare Law
    • Australia is
    • ‘ a world leader in animal welfare’
    • (taken from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website)
  • Bear Baiting
    • In Western Australia fighting of captive animals is prohibited under s.32 Animal Welfare Act 2002
    • In other countries, animal fights are considered a ‘sport’
  •  
  • Code of Practice for the Capture and Marketing of Feral Animals in Western Australia (2003)
    • Feral pigs
    • Acceptable methods of capture include:
    • under some conditions, e.g. in scrub or dense bush, and following trapping or poisoning campaigns, trained dogs can be useful to locate and flush animals out of thick cover . As there is considerable potential for injuries to dogs and pigs, using this technique, operators need to be experienced and dogs well trained.
    • Unacceptable methods of capture
    • The use of dogs to attack and bring down feral pigs is unacceptable.
  • BUT one search on “youtube” reveals over 700 Australian videos of this:
  •  
  • Rosemary
  • Earaheedy Station
    • Large station in the Murchison
    • In 1999 the owners wanted to return the land to its original state
    • Turned off all six dams at once during a time of drought in an attempt to “cull” the feral animal population on the station
    • Information provided by The Outback Heritage Horse Association of WA (Inc)
    • Photos courtesy of Dr Sheila Greenwell and Ross Quartermaine
    • Photo courtesy of Dr Sheila Greenwell and Ross Quartermaine
  • Photo courtesy of Dr Sheila Greenwell and Ross Quartermaine
  • Photo courtesy of Dr Sheila Greenwell and Ross Quartermaine
  • Photo courtesy of Dr Sheila Greenwell and Ross Quartermaine
  • Why is this “legal”?
    • Direct Exemptions of ‘Pest’ Animals from Animal Welfare Protection Legislation
    • Codes of Practice
    • Lack of Enforcement
    • Few prosecutions and low penalties
    Photo: Clive A Marks
  • Direct Exemption 24. Defence — killing pests (1) It is a defence to a charge under section 19(1) for a person to prove — (a) that the act alleged to constitute the offence was done while the person was attempting to kill pests ; (b) that the person was attempting to kill pests in a manner that is generally accepted as usual and reasonable for killing pests of the kind the person was attempting to kill; and (c) if the animal the subject of the charge was not a pest, that the person took reasonable steps to ensure that animals other than pests would not be harmed. (2) In this section — pest means a prescribed animal, fish or invertebrate.
  • Definition of ‘pest’
    • Animal Welfare (General) Regulations 2003 Regulation 5
    5. Pests (s. 24(2)) An animal set out in the list of declared animals published under section 35 of the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act 1976 is prescribed as a pest under section 24(2) of the Act, if — (a) the animal is not being kept as a domestic pet; (b) the animal is not being kept for the purposes of racing, riding or harnessing; (c) the animal is not being kept for the purpose of confined display or entertainment; (d) the animal is not being kept as a form of livestock; and (e) at the time a person attempts to kill the animal, it is not under effective control of an owner.
  • Code of Practice for the Capture and Marketing of Feral Animals in Western Australia (2003)
    • Does NOT include introduced wild animals such as foxes and rabbits
    • Outlines ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ methods
    • Problem with language
      • Eg. when ground shooting animals ‘shots should be aimed to destroy the brain or heart/great vessels of the target animal. Shooting at other parts of the body is undesirable ’
  • Other points from My Thesis
    • Impacts
    • AgVet Code and 1080
    • Trapping in other Jurisdictions
    • Obligation on Landholders to control invasive animals on their land
    • Problem with new ‘more humane’ methods