Tasmania Cat Animal Welfare Protection

Contents – Tasmania cat animal welfare protection

Intro – comment

Animal Welfare Act 1993


Copyright

 

Introduction – comment — Tasmania cat animal welfare protection

In Tasmania the relevant law is the Animal Welfare Act 1993. The Act is a classic animal welfare act, modern and well drafted. It covers a lot more than cat (my particular interest) and animal welfare. But I only look at that part of the Act here. If you want to see the entire statute please go here.

Laws are based on what happens on the ground. Laws are often reactive. They are designed to correct a situation that affects society negatively. I sense that there is a distorted view of the feral cat in Tasmania and in Australia as a whole.

The Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association’s (TFGA) present a case that is over critical of the feral and indeed by implication the domestic cat. They refer to the feral cat as an animal that spreads disease (specifically Toxoplasmosis) to humans and sheep. The disease is caused by a parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The primary host is the cat, domestic or otherwise. There is little scientific evidence (perhaps none) that indicates that this parasite is a health risk to humans. Even the scientists of Tasmania will agree with that and the hospitals there cannot provide data supporting a risk as there is no data (and almost certainly no risk). If there was a risk there would be scientific work and records at hospitals. In addition in the United States there are almost 100 million domestic cats. That equates to about 100 million families with cats (one third of the entire population of America). Are all these people at risk and if so why are the authorities in America don’t nothing about it?

The TFGA also report that feral cats kill lots of wildlife. I have never seen a unbiased, objective, scientific study that supports this. Actually I haven’t found any studies. The TFGA don’t refer to proper reports or reports at all. It is anecdotal (based on hearsay). If laws are to be introduced to control the feral cat the legislation should tackle the root cause: irresponsible pet owners. And the rights of the feral cat should be respected. Laws affected feral cats should be concerned with the welfare of feral cats as well as the welfare of humans and, yes, sheep.

The Animal Welfare Act 1993 is of course a good piece of legislation provided it is enforced. The Act does not apply to “practices used in the hunting of animals done in a usual and reasonable manner and without causing excess suffering” (section 4). So when it comes to hunting we can be cruel to animals, is that it? The Act says we can cause an animal to suffer if we hunt it. Yet section 8 says we cannot cause “unreasonable and unjustifiable pain or suffering”. The only conclusion is that is causing pain is justified when an animal is sport hunted. Why is that? Is there any difference between the actions of a person causing pain to an animal by abandonment or by hunting. I would have thought the former (an act of carelessness or negligence perhaps) was less onerous than the latter (a deliberate act designed to cause pain and death to the animal for the entertainment of the person doing it).

Sport hunting would be Aggravated Cruelty under the Act if it wasn’t an exception. Sometimes things just look upside down.

Here is a post about desexing the feral cat and Tasmania’s feral cat problem. This link goes to a Blogger site attached to this site where comments can be made.

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Tasmania cat animal welfare protection

Animal Welfare Act 1993 – selected sections

Section 6. Duty of care to animals

A person who has the care or charge of an animal has a duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure the welfare of the animal.


Section 7. Management of animals


A person who has the care or charge of an animal or group of animals must not use a method of management of the animal or group which is reasonably likely to result in unreasonable and unjustifiable pain or suffering to the animal or an animal in the group.

Penalty: In the case of –

  • (a) a body corporate, a fine not exceeding 500 penalty units; or
  • (b) a natural person, a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.

{comment: a penalty unit is the equivalent of a sum of money. The amount it set by the government. If it was say $100 the penalty would be $10,000. The amounts change, evolve.}

Section 8. Cruelty to animals

(1) A person must not do any act, or omit to do any duty, which causes or is likely to cause unreasonable and unjustifiable pain or suffering to an animal.

Penalty: In the case of –

  • (a) a body corporate, a fine not exceeding 500 penalty units; or
  • (b) a natural person, a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both.

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), a person is guilty of an offence under that subsection if the person –

  • (a) wounds, mutilates, tortures, overrides, overdrives, overworks, abuses, beats, torments or terrifies an animal; or
  • (b) overloads or overcrowds an animal; or
  • (c) drives, conveys, carries or packs an animal in a manner or position or in circumstances that subjects or subject it to unreasonable and unjustifiable pain or suffering; or
  • (d) works, rides, drives or uses an animal when it is unfit for the purpose; or
  • (e) has possession or custody of an animal that is confined, constrained or otherwise unable to provide for itself and fails to provide the animal with appropriate and sufficient food, drink, shelter or exercise; or
  • (f) abandons an animal of a species usually kept in a state of confinement or for domestic purposes; or
  • (g) has possession or custody of a sick or injured animal and fails to provide veterinary or other appropriate treatment for the animal; or
  • (h) administers to or otherwise uses in respect of an animal an injurious drug or a toxic or noxious substance except for–
    • (i) medical curative purposes; or
    • (ii) scientific research purposes; or
    • (iii) normal management procedures; or
    • (iv) euthanasia; or
    • (v) the purposes of controlling a List A disease as defined in the Animal Health Act 1995; or
    • (vi) the purposes of controlling a pest animal in accordance with the pest register; or
  • (i) in the course of any sport or public performance or in the training for any sport or public performance, applies or exposes an electronic device to an animal; or
  • (j) uses a spur, or other like appliance, with sharpened rowels on an animal; or
  • (k) does any other prescribed act.

(3) In this section – “abandons”, in relation to an animal, includes the relinquishing of the care or charge of the animal without ensuring that another person has, or will immediately take, care or charge of the animal; “appropriate and sufficient” means –

  • (a) in relation to the provision of food to an animal, that food of sufficient quality is provided –
    • (i) in sufficient quantity to meet the nutritional requirements of maintaining the animal in reasonable body condition and, if appropriate, allowing for growth and reproduction; and
    • (ii) as often as appropriate for the digestive system and metabolism of the animal; or
  • (b) in relation to the provision of drink, that fluids of sufficient quality are provided in sufficient quantity to keep the animal hydrated at all times; or
  • (c) in relation to the provision of shelter, that shelter which affords protection for the animal from the adverse effects of weather conditions is provided; “pest animal” means an animal of a kind or class which is entered in the pest register; “pest register” means the pest register established and maintained under section 8A.

Tasmania cat animal welfare protection

Section 9. Aggravated cruelty

A person must not do any act, or omit to do any duty, referred to in section 8 which results in the death or serious disablement of an animal.

Penalty: In the case of –

  • (a) a body corporate, a fine not exceeding 1 000 penalty units; or
  • (b) a natural person, a fine not exceeding 200 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 18 months, or both.

Tasmania cat animal welfare protection
Tasmania cat animal welfare protection to Cats and the Law

Tasmania cat animal welfare protection Copyright: I have reproduced some sections of the Tasmanian legislation verbatim. I have made the decision that this is acceptable. This site is educational and for charity. In the UK the Crown has waived copyright on legislation. In lieu of getting clearance (it is difficult to find the process to achieve that) I have published and if this is incorrect please notify me and I’ll rectify very quickly.

Tasmania cat animal welfare protection

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