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Tasmanian Government announces review into dog welfare regulations

Media release: Jo Palmer MLC, Minister for Primary Industries

The Tasmanian Government will undertake a review of Tasmanian dog welfare regulations to ensure all dogs in the State have good welfare outcomes.

Tasmania’s Animal Welfare (Dogs) Regulations 2016 set minimum standards for the care, housing and health of dogs.

Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jo Palmer, said the current regulations include specific requirements for facilities such as animal shelters, pounds and pet shops, as well as premises for dog rearing, training and boarding.

“Currently, there are exemptions under the Animal Welfare Regulations for premises that have three or more bitches over 6 months of age, which supply working or hunting dogs, dogs registered as greyhounds with Tasracing Pty Ltd, and dogs owned by members of the Tasmanian Canine Association,” Minister Palmer said.

"This means that a registered greyhound trainer that has a very large breeding operation – for example more than 50 dogs – can be exempt from the requirements for dog breeding facilities. This may not be conducive to animal welfare outcomes.

“It is this Government’s intention to remove this exemption for greyhounds.

“I have asked the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania to establish a reference group with the Office of Racing Integrity and the RSPCA Tasmania to immediately undertake a gap analysis of the current dog welfare regulations against the TasRacing Greyhound Animal Welfare Manual (2015) to ensure we have contemporary, enforceable welfare standards for greyhounds in Tasmania.”

Minister Palmer said working and hunting dogs will also be considered during the review, subject to consultation with the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the Tasmanian Canine Association.

"As part of the review I have also asked the Department to look at options for regulating dog breeders for the purpose of improving animal welfare standards and responding to community concerns about the practices of puppy farms,” Minister Palmer said.

“This will be done in partnership with the Minister for Local Government as Minister responsible for the Dog Control Act 2000.

“I look forward to strong community engagement as we work through this important review.”

The draft regulations are expected to be released for public consultation in 2024 with introduction to follow.

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