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Protecting rights of people complained about
The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 has a broad range of enforcement powers to allow inspectors to investigate and enforce compliance with the Act.
However, the Act also has strict accountability mechanisms to protect the rights of individuals who may be the subject of a complaint, and ensure investigations are fair and objective.
The following mechanisms protect the rights of individuals.
Due process procedures
Inspectors must follow a range of due process procedures, including:
- using ID cards to confirm their identity
- explaining the purpose of their entry to the premises and their right of entry
- providing receipts for animals or items seized
- providing information notices to explain both the reasons for major decisions and a person's right to a review of these decisions
- completing compulsory training and expertise levels to ensure that they act accountably.
Operational procedures and guidelines
The 'Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 operational procedures and guidelines' help inspectors involved in investigations. They provide a framework for appropriately and effectively enforcing the Act, and help inspectors respond appropriately to animal welfare incidents and conduct investigations to the required standard. They outline the Act's administrative principles and operational procedures.
Contact us for a copy of the operational procedural guidelines.
All complaints about animal welfare incidents are routinely registered, actioned and reported as part of the procedural requirements in administering the Act.
Biosecurity Queensland and the RSPCA record complaints and the outcomes of investigations to meet these administrative requirements, and provide relevant information for any subsequent investigations.
All these records and reports are subject to audit.
The Act also gives the chief executive of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries authority to require a Biosecurity Queensland or an RSPCA inspector to provide information about the performance of their duties or exercise of their powers under the Act.
The RSPCA must also provide regular reports to Biosecurity Queensland management on activities undertaken in enforcing the Act.
Rights to review or appeal decisions
Under the Act, affected parties can seek review of or appeal decisions made by inspectors.
The operational procedures and guidelines outline inspectors' obligations to inform people of their review or appeal rights. All relevant forms have information notices that outline the process for applying for a decision review.
Firstly the affected party must apply to the chief executive of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for a review of the decision, using the approved application form (PDF, 140KB). The completed review application can be emailed to ACPAenquiry@daf.qld.gov.au or mailed to the Chief Executive at the address on the form.
After this, the affected party can appeal the decision to the Magistrates Court (seizure and forfeiture decisions) or the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (for other decisions).
Applying for a review does not suspend the original decision. However, an affected party may also apply for a stay of operation for the decision while the decision is being reviewed.