Review of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001

In April 2021 the Queensland Government began a review of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (the ACPA)The review marked 20 years since the ACPA commenced and aimed to ensure the legislation keeps pace with contemporary animal welfare practices and community expectations.

© Queensland Government

The Animal Care and Protection Amendment Bill 2022

The Animal Care and Protection Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) was introduced to Queensland Parliament on Thursday 12 May 2022.

The Bill will be debated by Parliament. Stakeholders and the community will be able to provide feedback on the proposed amendments via the State Development and Regional Industries Committee before amendments to the ACPA are finalised. Information on how the community can be involved in the committee process is available on the Queensland Parliament website.

View a copy of the Bill on the Queensland Legislation website.

Key amendments include:

  • A new offence for aggravated breaches of the duty of care, with a maximum penalty of 2000 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.
  • Prohibition of the use and possession of pronged dog collars.
  • Prohibition of the use of yellow phosphorous pig poison.
  • A requirement for dogs to be secured on a vehicle, with an exemption for working dogs.
  • Clarification of minimum standards for making codes of practice under the ACPA, including on the basis of scientific evidence.
  • Clarification of the scientific use of animals, including alignment of the scientific use provisions to the Australian Scientific Use Code.
  • A new framework for accrediting persons to undertake cattle spaying and pregnancy testing.
  • Clarification of some inspector powers in relation to entry and compliance with animal welfare directions.

How the department consulted

In April 2021 the Department released a discussion paper and commenced a community consultation process to gather feedback on the review of the ACPA. Stakeholders and the community were able to complete a survey about issues raised in the discussion paper and/or upload a written submission on any aspect of the ACPA.

Consultation on the discussion paper closed in May 2021. More than 2300 submissions were received from organisations and individuals across a range of animal interest areas. View an overview of stakeholder and community feedback in the consultation outcomes report.

The department considered all feedback to inform the development of the Bill.

Scope of the review

All parts of the ACPA were considered under the review, including but not limited to:

  • a review of enforcement options to ensure they are appropriate
  • an infringement notice scheme for on-the-spot fines for certain animal welfare offences
  • a review of the oversight and governance arrangements for externally appointed inspectors to ensure they are appropriate
  • options to assist animal welfare professionals, including veterinary surgeons, to report animal cruelty.

The ACPA review did not cover animal welfare provisions in the following separate legislation:

  • Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2009
  • Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld)
  • Exhibited Animals Act 2015
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000
  • Veterinary Surgeons Act 1936

The Animal Care and Protection Regulation 2012 (the Regulation), including the compulsory codes of practice, was not covered under the review but will be remade after amendments to the ACPA have been finalised. Any feedback received on matters contained in the Regulation during the review will be considered when the Regulation is reviewed and remade.

The implementation of the recommendations from the independent inquiry into the management of retired racehorses is progressing separately to the ACPA review.

More information

Contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23.