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Review the draft Animal Welfare Bill

Draft Animal Welfare Bill - have your say and help us protect all animals in South Australia

The Animal Welfare Act is the primary piece of legislation concerned with the treatment of animals in South Australia.

Last year the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (SA) was reviewed for the first time since 2007. It was a great opportunity to make our voices heard and inform the new Animal Welfare Bill. 

As part of this public consultation in 2023, several reforms were identified and form the basis of the proposed changes within the draft Bill. They focus on improving the Act and moving towards alignment with comparable jurisdictions.

These reforms are:

  1. Update the purpose and include objects in the Act – to better explain why the law exists and help the reader interpret its intent.
  2. Better recognise animal sentience – to acknowledge that animals experience feelings, both positive, such as pleasure, or negative, such as pain and fear.
  3. Broaden the definition of animal – to allow the law to cover more types of animals by removing the exclusion of fish, and including cephalopods (such as squid, octopus, cuttlefish) for scientific purposes.
  4. Introduce a ‘duty of care’ provision – to create a positive requirement to provide a minimum level of care.
  5. Improve regulation, oversight and transparency of the research and teaching sector – to enable greater accountability and address community concerns.
  6. Increase the ability to administer and enforce the Act – to provide appropriate powers and ability to hold to account people that do not meet animal welfare requirements, preventing cruelty and promoting welfare.
  7. Contemporise the governance and administrative provisions for the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee – to ensure that animal welfare advice comes from a transparent and diverse group.

Read the draft Animal Welfare Bill

There is now an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Animal Welfare Bill 2024.

Provide feedback by completing the Survey

Consultation is open until 26 May 2024

Unsure how to respond to the survey?

View the recording of our survey writing workshop.

Download our suggested survey responses.

*please note that if you select ‘no’ for question 4, the substantive questions will begin at 6 rather than question 7.