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Cat laws and regulations




classifiedCODES OF PRACTICE AND ANIMAL WELFARE LEGISLATION


CODES OF PRACTICE AND ANIMAL WELFARE LEGISLATION

National Consultative Committee on Animal Welfare (NCCAW) Position Statement

Codes of Practice

Codes of practice for the welfare of animals have an important role to play in ensuring that the
community's expectations regarding the proper use of animals are met.

NCCAW considers, however, that the current codes of practice for the welfare of animals do not
fully meet community expectations. There is some danger that if this is not corrected the
credibility of codes of practice in the area of animal welfare could be irreparably harmed.

The current codes of practice do not meet community expectations beause of:

the variety of codes of practice available (eg the National Model Codes, state and territory
codes and industry codes)

the variable status of codes of practice

the variable manner by which codes of practice are developed

the problems with writing style, layout, readability and ease of finding information (especially
in codes which cover the requirements for multiple species)

the lack of promotion, availability and distribution

the lack of joint 'ownership' of a code by relevant animal industries and the community. NCCAW
recognises that a code must have the full support and commitment of the relevant industry
otherwise it will not be properly implemented and will not achieve its full purpose.
NCCAW's Position

NCCAW considers that where animal husbandry practices are considered to be unacceptable (‘acts
of omission towards animals’), these need to be better defined in some clauses, and
incorporated into the Prevention of Cruetly to Animals (POCTA) Act.

NCCAW considers that better administration is required for some of the Regulations (Statutory
Rules) attached to the POCTA Acts. It also considers that industry and community agreement
should be sought before codes of practice are partly or fully regulated. This would be similar
to the agreement that was sought during the implementation of Code of Practice for the Care and
Use of Animals in Experimentation.

Guidelines are considered to have a useful role as position papers to float new concepts in
animal welfare that are not yet covered by a POCTA Act or a Code of Practice.

NCCAW supports the concept of Animal Care Statements. The role of an Animal Care Statement is to
introduce an element of self regulation in the way in which a code of practice is implemented in
a defined animal unit (such as an abattoir or feedlot). It also considers that such statements
could be made to work effectively in certain intensive farming operations, but to be effective
the community would demand auditing and accountability.

There are several ways, other than legislation, to enforce compliance with codes; for example,
by making compliance a requirement for registration or accreditation.

NCCAW considers that:

A properly developed code of practice for the welfare of animals, that has demonstrated support
from the relevant animal industry and the community, has an important role in ensuring the
proper care and use of animals.

The development of new codes of practice, and the regular revision of existing codes, should be
encouraged.

National Model Codes of Practice set a necessary benchmark for the development of local codes.
Australian national codes must attempt to cover a variety of geographical and climatic
conditions and local animal husbandry practices so they are limited in their ability to set
husbandry standards. Proper attention must be given to the method by which the relevant animal
industry and the community are consulted early in the development of a model code. Attention
must also be given to the style of writing, layout and readability of the code and its easy
retrieval. The Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC) should be encouraged to identify the
need for, and develop, new model codes of practice and to regularly review existing codes.

State and territory governments should develop local codes based on model national codes but
should reflect local geographical and climatic conditions, animal husbandry practices and
relevant animal industry and community expectations. The manner by which these codes are
developed should be the same as the national model codes. Proper attention should be given to
the preparation, availability and distribution of these codes and should be a joint exercise of
industry and Government.

Where appropriate, State and Territory Government codes of practice should be given legal
recognition via the POCTA Acts and other animal welfare legislation.

To avoid confusion within industry and the community, all codes of animal welfare practice other
than National Model Codes and state and territory codes should be abandoned; however, this
should not preclude new codes and guidelines being initiated by, and developed through, relevant
industries.

PISC and industry should be encouraged to develop the concept of Animal Care Statements within
the intensive pig, poultry and feedlot industries.

When revising its POCTA Act, each state and territory should:

better define those clauses of the Act dealing with acts of omission towards animals and to
incorporate within the Act those husbandry practices considered unacceptable, and

encourage a shift in philosophy of POCTA towards protection of animals rather than just
prevention of cruelty.

The Commonwealth Government should, as a matter of urgency, resolve the issue of animal welfare
in Commonwealth institutions by enacting a specific Commonwealth POCTA Act and other animal
welfare legislation to apply to all Commonwealth institutions and agencies, and through the Act,
legally recognise codes of practice for the welfare of animals.
This Position Statement was first published in July 1991 and was reviewed by NCCAW on 20 Febr


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