Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury says the “Animals Sales Code,” to come into force this month, is an important milestone in animal welfare reform for the territory.
“It is the first ACT animal welfare code that is mandatory and enforceable, and it will improve the welfare of animals that are sold in the ACT,” Mr Rattenbury says.
“The Sales Code applies to anyone who sells animals including through pet shops, private backyards, markets, newspapers, and internet sales. It covers companion animals, produce animals such as backyard poultry, and live animals sold as food in restaurants and markets, such as fish.”
The Code will require sellers to provide hygienic accommodation that meets the physical, behavioural and emotional needs of the animals (e.g. space that allows animals to move around freely, exercise and rest) and provide adequate exercise to the animals; restrict animal sales to buyers who are above the age of sixteen and introduce record keeping requirements for anyone selling an animal for financial gain.
Mr Rattenbury says the Sales Code is enforceable by RSPCA inspectors, Territory and Municipal Services Officers and Police, and can be enforced by a written warning, on the spot fines, or court imposed penalties of up to $14,000 for an individual.
Information about the new laws has been provided to pet shops and other stakeholders. The laws come into force on October 21.
For more information on the Sales Code please visit www.tams.act.gov.au. Hard copies are available by calling the secretariat of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee on 6207 2249.