State updates for 2017.
The Australian Federation for Livestock working dogs had a teleconference meeting on Tuesday 21st February. At this meeting a new secretary was elected as Nancy Withers from Victoria was standing down. Helen Svalbe was nominated and was duly elected unopposed. All the best for Helen in her new job. Legislation regarding livestock working dogs within W.A., now the Labor government is in power will more than likely have some changes. We have had talks with the WA Farmers livestock secretary Kim Hayward who is fully aware of our want to be exempt from any companion dog legislation. Prior to the election they had meetings with the Labor party members, one of those being Darren West. It was pointed out strongly to him that livestock working dogs needed to be exempt from the companion animal legislation. When they elect their minister for agriculture we will be talking to them regarding the above and seeking for a separate code of practice for livestock working dogs. We will draw on the other states codes of practice for livestock working dogs as a template for W.A. When we have this we will circulate for comment. This is our hope as with the other states we will probably have to make some compromises. We must aim for the best outcome for livestock working dogs.
An exemption from the “Protecting Puppies” legislation for primary producers with livestock working dogs was gained through the lobbying of the Qld reps, AFLWD and Agforce.
The Qld Govt and Animal Biosecurity and Welfare (DAF) are currently working on the “Qld Animal Welfare Standards & Guidelines for Breeding Dogs & their Progeny”, shortly to be released for consultation. Qld reps are in contact with the policy advisor and will be evaluating the strategy on release and consulting with the department to get the best possible outcome for livestock working dogs and their owners.
New South Wales as of April 2017
State and local governments are still in the process of implementing recommendations made by the Joint Senate Select Committee on Animal Breeding Practices in 2015:
- The NSW Animal Welfare Advisory Council has reviewed the recommendations such as litter restrictions, mandatory desexing, enclosure specifications, staff-to-animal ratios, training and qualification of breeders and submitted recommendations to the NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair
- The Office of Local Government, local councils and Department of Primary Industries Animal Welfare Unit have launched the first stage of a new NSW Pets Register to streamline the registration and microchipping process and centralise data on breeders.
- In NSW, a working dog is a dog primarily used for the purpose of of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and includes a dog trained as a working dog.
- Working dogs residing on land defined and rated as farmland or kept in the Western Division of NSW, which is not within a local government area, are exempt from microchipping and registration. For more information, see the NSW Office of Local Government working dogs webpage
- All other dogs, irrespective of breed, MUST be microchipped and registered. For more information contact your local NSW council and refer to Sections 5.10 and 5.11 of the ‘Guidelines on the exercise of functions under the Companion Animals Act’.