New AWA Regulations make it easier for offenders of lower grade infringement offences to be fined without the need for prosecutions. This will streamline the whole system, because prosecutions can be protracted and costly.
The new Regulations are directly enforceable by SPCA or MPI Animal Welfare Inspectors, and most are expected to be in force by October 2018.
There are two levels of penalty for infringements. Part One discussed the offences that could result in a $300 fine. Here are some of the infringements that could result in a heftier $500 fine:
Most of them relate to transporting stock. For example it will be an infringement offence to transport any animal
- in a way that results in significant back-rub injuries or any significant injury to itself or any other animal
- with an ingrown horn, or bleeding horn or antler, or a horn or antler that causes injury to itself or another animal during transport
- that is distinctly lame
- that is in late pregnancy (ie close to giving birth)
- that has a diseased udder or cancer eye
There can be exceptions to these rules, e.g. if the animal is accompanied by a veterinary certificate whose conditions have been followed.
Other offences that might attract a $500 fine include the use of electric prodders (except in some circumstances e.g. on cattle that weigh more than 150kg), and the use of goads on sensitive parts of the body of any animal e.g. eyes or genitals.
It will be an offence to allow any animal to develop an ingrown horn.
Striking a horse or donkey around the head will also be a prosecutable offence.
Piglets under 7 days old can still e tail-docked by anyone but it will be an infringement offence if the procedure isn’t carried out correctly with a clear cut and no tearing of tissue.
Prosecutable Regulation Offences
There are other tiers of offence that are considered more serious again. These are prosecutable, and they can result in criminal conviction with fines of up to $25,000.
Among these are the contentious issues of tail docking and dew claw removal from dogs and the requirement for pain relief when disbudding calves and kids.
The more stringent legislation extends too to castration, tail docking, disbudding and dehorning of cattle, mulesing of sheep, castration of horses and pigs, and even use of fireworks at rodeos!
More about these prosecutable regulation offences in Part Three.