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Animal welfare laws in Queensland

Use of electric prodders on horses – an act of cruelty

From 1 August 2020, use of electric prodders on horses will be an act of cruelty under changes to the Queensland animal welfare laws to protect horses from unnecessary pain.

The changes follow recommendations made by the Inquiry into animal cruelty in the management of retired Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses in Queensland, also referred to as the Martin Inquiry.

Animal welfare in Queensland is regulated and enforced to ensure animals are treated humanely.

The Queensland Government's animal welfare program has 4 main aims:

  1. promote the responsible care and use of animals
  2. provide standards for animal care and use that
    • balance the welfare of animals and the interests of people whose livelihood depends on animals
    • allow for the advancements in scientific knowledge and allow for changes in community expectations about practices involving animals
  3. protect animals from unjustifiable, unnecessary or unreasonable pain
  4. ensure that the use of animals for scientific purposes is accountable, open and responsible.

The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 sets regulations for animal welfare standards. These regulations are the basis for the Animal Care and Protection Regulation 2012.

This guide covers laws that protect animals in Queensland and how these are enforced.