Legistrative Council E-Petitions

E-petition Number
Shade and shelter for animals
The petition of certain citizens of the State of Victorian draws to the attention of the Legislative Council that there is no mandatory requirement for the provision of shelter from extremes of weather for farm animals and livestock under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) or animal welfare codes of practice. This is also true for horses used in connection with sporting events, equestrian competitions, pony clubs, riding schools, circuses or rodeos. The POCTA inspectors often lack power to prosecute offenders for neglect of duty of care. The lack of suitable shelter leads to prolonged suffering and deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals each year from hypothermia or exposure to sun during heatwaves. The effects of climate change will create greater risks for these animals and an increase in cruel and inhumane suffering and deaths.

Mandatory codes will empower inspectors to investigate and, where necessary, prosecute with penalties commensurate with the degree of neglect. Guidelines for shelter provision must be outlined within mandatory codes. Artificial shelter structures must be durable and capable of protecting animals from strong UV rays, wind chill, hail and sun. Other suitable shelter could include belt tree planting with sufficient foliage and canopy so all paddocked animals may lie down simultaneously without overcrowding and enable them to stand and move about freely under shade protection.
The petitioners therefore request the Legislative Council call on the Government to legislate the provision of mandatory codes for species-specific shade and or shelter to protect animals from extreme weather whilst allowing good airflow and the ability for all animals to lie down simultaneously, stand and move about freely.
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