AVA vets front Parliamentary Committee on animal welfare legislation in Queensland

24 Jun 2022

Following the introduction of the Bill to Parliament, the State Development and Regional Industries Committee conducted an inquiry. The AVA made a formal submission and were invited to speak with the Parliamentary Committee.

Queensland State AVA President, Dr Ben Brightman, was joined by Dr Alan Guilfoyle (AVA Board Member), Dr Anna Sri (AVA Queensland Policy Councillor), and AVA National Manager for Advocacy and Campaigns, Mr Graham Pratt, for the hearing.

In introducing the issues, Dr Brightman said, “The AVA’s submission to this committee makes several points to the inquiry particularly focusing on euthanising sick or injured animals by veterinary surgeons and approved cattle procedures accreditation schemes.”

Veterinarian powers to euthanise animals where owners can not be contacted in time was one of the key issues that the AVA has been lobbying for in Queensland. It is a power that veterinarians in most other states already have.

“In veterinary practice we are sometimes faced with the really difficult and unfortunate situation where animals are presented to us often after an accident and they can be in extreme pain, suffering considerably, and the prognosis is very poor. Under the current legislation, veterinarians are required to have the permission of either the animal owner or an animal welfare inspector before euthanising the animal. While we make our best efforts to contact the animal owner, sometimes it is not possible. This can lead to a prolonged period where the animal is suffering unnecessarily,” said Dr Sri in speaking at the hearing.

“I also believe that most people trust their veterinarians to make the best choice on behalf of their animal. By not having the provision in Queensland giving vets the legal authority and indemnity against prosecution to euthanise injured or sick animals, we are not only opening vets up to prosecution but also hampering their decision-making abilities”

The Bill, as it was introduced to Parliament, includes this power. The AVA is asking parliamentarians to ensure that this is implemented in the changes to the legislation.

Dr Guilfoyle discussed the issues around pregnancy testing and spaying of cattle an emphasised the need for anyone undertaking these procedures to be rigorously trained, regulated, and operate under veterinary direction and supervision.

Read the full transcript here. https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Work-of-Committees/Committees/Committee-Details?cid=172&id=4163

The AVA has been working with Biosecurity on its review of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 over several years, including making a detailed submission in 2021.

The results of this work, in particular the expansion of powers of veterinarians to euthanise animals in certain circumstances are a significant win for the profession.


Read the full transcript of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the proposed changes to the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.